Actual property mogul Stewart Bainum Jr. is providing to place extra of his personal cash right into a takeover try for Tribune Publishing Co. as he tries to recruit like-minded companions for the deal, based on an individual acquainted with his considering.
The billionaire is discussing a plan to double his stake in a possible bid to $200 million and faucet a further $100 million in debt financing, based on the particular person, who requested to not be recognized as a result of the deliberations are personal. Bainum has notified a Tribune particular committee about his new plan, the particular person stated.
Bainum, chairman of Selection Accommodations Worldwide Inc., has been attempting to place collectively a contemporary proposal after Swiss billionaire Hansjoerg Wyss dropped out of an funding group that they known as Newslight. They’d supplied $681 million for the newspaper writer, with about $500 million coming from Wyss.
With Wyss out, Bainum is searching for assist from deep-pocketed people keen on preserving native journalism. He has approached leaders of main foundations in Chicago about becoming a member of him within the bid, however has but to discover a keen companion, based on the particular person. Tribune’s newspapers embrace the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Solar and New York Day by day Information.
Earlier than it fell aside, the earlier Newslight bid topped a $635 million provide from hedge fund Alden Global Capital, which already owns 32% of Tribune and desires to buy the remaining. The agency has a reputation for deep cuts on the firms it acquires.
Wyss, who had stated he didn’t wish to see one other truth-telling newspaper go “down the drain,” was seen as a savior by Tribune journalists. The hassle to recruit new homeowners was kicked off by two Chicago Tribune reporters who interviewed greater than 100 folks within the enterprise and philanthropic world. Additionally they printed an essay within the New York Occasions predicting that an Alden takeover would create “a ghost model of the Chicago Tribune.”
When Wyss joined the Newslight bid, he had envisioned turning the Chicago Tribune right into a nationwide newspaper, an individual acquainted with his considering stated earlier this month. However the due-diligence course of indicated that such an thought can be tough to execute, the particular person stated.
In February, Tribune had agreed to be acquired by Alden. Bainum was initially a part of that buy, with a aspect deal that allowed him to accumulate the Baltimore Solar and smaller newspapers in Maryland.
However Bainum and Alden disagreed over how they’d share companies within the time earlier than the Maryland newspapers had been totally impartial of Tribune, and Bainum grew skeptical of Alden’s intentions within the deal, folks acquainted with the scenario stated in March. That led Bainum to pursue an acquisition of the entire firm.
(Updates with historical past of Alden deal in eigth paragraph.)