CHICAGO – Tribune Publishing's board voted unanimously to reject Gannett's $815 million unsolicited offer to buy the newspaper company.
In a letter sent to Gannett on Wednesday, Tribune Publishing said after "thorough consideration" and the assistance of legal and financial advisers, it determined the proposal understated the company's value and was not in the best interest of shareholders.
"Tribune Publishing is in the early stages of a compelling transformation, with a well-defined strategic plan to drive increasing monetization of our important brands, capitalize on the global potential of the L.A. Times and significantly accelerate our conversion of content to revenue through an enhanced digital strategy," Tribune Publishing CEO Justin Dearborn said in a news release. "While the board is always open to evaluating any credible proposal that it believes to be in the best interests of the company and its shareholders, Gannett's opportunistic proposal understates the company's true value and is not a basis for further discussion. The board is confident that the execution of our stand-alone strategic plan will generate shareholder value in excess of Gannett's proposal."
On April 12 Gannett made an offer to buy Tribune Publishing for $12.25 per share, an all-cash deal valued at $815 million, including the assumption of $390 million in debt. The offer was a 63 percent premium over the stock price before the offer went public on April 25.