Tribune Publishing Co. has announced to be finally signing a deal with Orange County Register’s Freedom Communications Inc. to acquire all of its assets worth US$ 56 million – payment mode by cash.
A press releases by Tribune claimed for it to bid for the newspaper publisher via supplementary Orange County Media LLC at a public bankruptcy auction for the business and owned real estate in Santa Ana and Riverside, Calif.
“The successful bid for the business of Freedom Communications will allow the Orange County Register and the Press-Enterprise to continue providing a distinct local voice in their communities and deliver premium news and information to consumers across Southern California.” – Tribune’s CEO, Justin Dearborn
The bid is subject to bankruptcy-court approval at a hearing 21 March 2016 hearing (MarketWatch release) while the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions (official press release).
Initial reports stated Tribune to have laid an official argument in court that Freedom Communications Inc. shouldn’t be allowed in *stalking-horse provision alongside leading bidder benefits to Digital First – which had bid approx. US$ 45.5 million.
(Protections for the stalking horse include US$ 200,000 in expense reimbursement and a 2.5% breakup fee, outputting US$ 1.14 million in total, in case if Freedom assets are acquired by some other dealer)