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Chicago Tribune Publisher Rises on Alden's $520M Purchase Proposal

Tribune Publishing traded higher after hedge fund Alden Global proposed to buy the shares of the newspaper publisher it doesn't own.

Tribune Publishing  (TPCO) - Get Tribune Publishing Co. Report shares rose on Thursday after hedge fund Alden Global made a proposal to buy the newspaper publisher at a valuation of $520 million, media reports suggest.

Shares of the Chicago company rose 9.5% to $14. In 2020 through Wednesday's close, the shares were off 2.8%.

On Dec. 14, Alden Global, which has a 32% stake in the publisher of the Chicago Tribune and the New York Daily News, inquired to purchase Tribune at  $14.25 a share. The inquiry came in a letter sent to the company's board, according to a regulatory filing made to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

To be sure, the letter of interest from Alden is nonbinding in nature.

Alden has not proposed any specific structure for the transaction, nor received any feedback from Tribune, Bloomberg reported.

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The Wall Street Journal first reported the news about Alden's plans.

Tribune has not commented on this development, Bloomberg said.

Tribune has a market value of roughly $470 million after a years-long slide as the prospects for local newspapers have dimmed. 

Alden bought its stake in Tribune a little more than a year ago from former Tribune Chairman Michael Ferro. 

The New York hedge fund, through its backing of MNG Enterprises Inc., is known for aggressive cost-cutting at newspapers in its portfolio. 

MNG tried to buy Gannett Co.  (GCI) - Get Gannett Co., Inc. Report last year but lost out to New Media Investment Group Inc., which promised that job losses wouldn’t be severe. At last check Gannett shares were 16% higher at $3.37.