McClatchy ( MNI - Get Report) agreed to sell five recently acquired Knight Ridder newspapers to four different buyers for $450 million. The Sacramento, Calif.-based company has now reached deals to sell 11 of the 12 papers it was seeking to get rid of following its March pact to buy Knight Ridder for $6.5 billion. The sales are expected to bring in a total of over $2 billion in proceeds. McClatchy says after-tax proceeds of $1.4 billion will help to pay down debt incurred in the Knight Ridder deal. "We are pleased with the full, fair prices we will receive, and pleased that we were able to execute on these sales as we promised," McClatchy CEO Gary Pruitt said, in a statement. "Some skeptics doubted us on both counts, but these deals reaffirm the underlying strength of the newspaper business and the soundness of our plan for acquiring Knight Ridder." Pruitt said the company expects to announce the sale of the Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Times Leader in the next few weeks. That move will complete the sales. McClatchy will sell the Akron Beacon Journal to Black Press; the Duluth News Tribune and Grand Forks Herald to Forum Communications; the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel to Ogden Newspapers; and the Aberdeen, S.D., American News to Schurz Communications. McClatchy said April 26 that it would sell three California newspapers and the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota for $1 billion to Hearst and MediaNews Group. It said May 23 that it would sell Knight Ridder's two newspapers in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, to an investment group led by ad exec Brian Tierney for $562 million. McClatchy shares lost 8 cents to close at $44.72 on Wednesday.