LA Times owner Tribune rejects new bid from Gannett

Chicago Tribune Image copyright Getty Images

The owner of the LA Times and Chicago Tribune has rejected a second takeover offer from media firm Gannett, but said it was open to talks.

Gannett, the owner of USA Today, made an improved bid for Tribune Publishing last week, raising its offer to $864m (£597m), from $815m.

Tribune's chief executive Justin Dearborn called the latest offer "clearly inadequate".

Shares in the company plunged as much as 18% on the news.

Last week, Gannett sent a letter to Tribune shareholders accusing Tribune's board of damaging its share price by refusing to engage "constructively".

Tribune has fought back. In a statement the company said: "We continue to have serious doubts about Gannett's ability to enter into a transaction."

New investor

However, Tribune did say it was willing to establish an agreement that would allow both sides to talk about a potential deal.

Tribune rejected Gannett's first offer in May calling it an "opportunistic proposal that understates the company's true value."

Tribune also revealed a $70.5m investment by Nant Capital, making it the second biggest shareholder with a 12.9% stake.

Nant's founder, Patrick Soon-Shiong, will become vice chairman of Tribune's board. He is also part-owner of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team.

Tribune Publishing has its headquarters in Chicago and the media brand owns 11 major US newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, The Baltimore Sun and Hartford Courant.

Gannett is based in Virginia and owns local news outlets across the US including the Detroit Free Press and The Jackson Sun.

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