Bids for newspapers have never been solely about financials. More than most businesses, media properties, especially newspapers, tend to fetch outsized bids.
For Tronc Inc. (TRNC) , owner of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, that could mean having to overpay if it wants to acquire its longtime crosstown rival, the Chicago Sun-Times.
Tronc's chairman, the unpredictable Michael Ferro, is intent on buying the Sun-Times to share costs with his own Tribune. Before becoming Tronc's largest shareholder and changing its name from the venerable Tribune Publishing Co., Ferro owned the Sun-Times through his former media company, Wrapports LLC.
To acquire the Sun-Times, Ferro will have to outbid a group headed by Edwin Eisendrath, a former city councilman and managing partner in a Chicago group that develops international education programs. Eisendrath's investor group, which includes the Chicago Federation of Labor, is prepared to bid $15 million for a controlling stake in the Sun-Times, Chicago media writer Robert Feder reported Monday, June 19.
Eisendrath later confirmed the bid in a retweet of Feder's story.
The Sun-Times on Tuesday said the broker handling the sale had received multiple bids and cited an email from publisher Jim Kirk to employees that Eisendrath's bid would be evaluated for "whether it meets the standards agreed to with the U.S. Department of Justice at the outset of this process."