US media operator Lee Enterprises receives bid from Alden Global Capital

The hedge fund owner of US newspaper group Tribune Publishing has made a $140m bid for US local media operator Lee Enterprises.

US media operator Lee Enterprises receives bid from Alden Global Capital
Photograph: Ben Mater on Unsplash.

Alden Global Capital published a letter to Lee’s board citing why its offer would leave the publisher in a “stronger position to maximise its resources and realize strategic value that enhances its operations and supports its employees in their important work serving local communities”.

Lee owns news, information and advertising businesses across 77 US markets, with titles including the St Louis Post-Dispatch, Buffalo News and Arizona Daily Sun.

In its letter, which has been made public, Alden said: “Our interest in Lee is a reaffirmation of our substantial commitment to the newspaper industry and our desire to support local newspapers over the long term.”

Alden said, “Scale is critical for newspapers to ensure necessary staffing and in order to thrive in the challenging environment where print advertising continues to decline and back office operations and legacy public company functions remain bloated, thus depriving newsrooms of resources that are best used serving readers with relevant, trustworthy and engaging content.”

Alden, which completed the Tribune Publishing buyout earlier this year, already owns MediaNews Group. Its titles include the Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Baltimore Sun and the Denver Post.

Lee's share price jumped more than 20% after the bid was announced.

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