Tax Setback Hits Tribune

The stock slides after a ruling in an acquisition linked to the Times Mirror deal.
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Tribune

(TRB)

shares fell 3% after a big legal ruling against the media company.

The U.S. Tax Court nixed Tribune's 1998 tax-free reorganization of its Matthew Bender subsidiary, leaving the company liable for hefty charges. The company inherited the problem when it bought Times Mirror in 1998.

The owner of newspapers including the

Los Angeles Times

and

Chicago Tribune

said it will appeal the tax court ruling.

"We are disappointed by the court's ruling," said Crane Kenney, Tribune's general counsel, in a statement. "We look forward to our appeal in the Seventh Circuit."

The exact dollar figure of the tax deficiency has yet to be determined, but is estimated to be in the $1 billion range. The company said it holds reserves of $250 million connected to the case.

At midday Wednesday, shares in Tribune were trading down 93 cents to $34.82.