Virginia-based Gannett Co. Inc. (NYSE: GCI) is offering to buy Chicago-based Tribune Publishing Co. (NYSE: TPUB). The $815 million proposal would bring together media companies that have a presence in many of the largest markets in the country including Los Angeles, Chicago and Phoenix.
Tribune Publishing owns the Post-Tribune in northwest Indiana and Gannett owns the following media properties in Indiana:
The Indianapolis Star and IndyStar.com in Indianapolis
Evansville Courier & Press
The Journal-Courier and JCOnline.com in Lafayette
The Star Press in Muncie
Palladium-Item in Richmond
In 2014, Tribune Publishing was spun off from Tribune Co., which then renamed itself Tribune Media Co. Gannett recently wrapped up the $280 million acquisition of Journal Media Group, which previously included newspapers in mid-sized to smaller markets throughout the country, including the Courier & Press.
As part of the deal, Gannett would also assume Tribune Publishing’s $390 million of debt obligations. Executives believe the combination could save some $50 million per year in synergies.
In a letter to Tribune Publishing Chief Executive Officer Justin Dearborn, from Gannett CEO Robert Dickey says he was "disappointed" in Tribune’s "continued refusal to begin constructive discussions with us." Tribune officials responded this morning, saying the offer will be reviewed by its lawyers and financial advisors.