Alden Global Capital, the New York hedge fund that bought Tribune Publishing this year, said on Monday it was bidding for another major American newspaper chain, Lee Enterprises, publisher of 90 dailies including The Buffalo News in New York City. , The Richmond Times -Virginian Expedition and The Omaha World-Herald in Nebraska.
In a letter to Lee Enterprises’ board of directors, Alden proposed a cash buy at $ 24 a share, about 30% above the closing share price on Friday of $ 18.49. The deal values the company at around $ 141 million.
A number of Lee Enterprises Stable newspapers were once owned by billionaire Warren E. Buffett, who has deteriorated in recent years and said most newspapers are “toast.” Lee Enterprises ran all 31 Buffett-owned dailies and dozens of weeklies for a time before selling them to that company in 2020 for $ 140 million.
Alden, which owns around 200 publications through its subsidiary MediaNews Group, purchased a 6% stake in Lee Enterprises in 2020. In his letter to the Lee Enterprises board on Monday, Alden said that if it becomes the owner, the chain “would be in a stronger position to maximize its resources and realize strategic value that improves its operations and supports its employees in their important work serving local communities.”
After years of regular newspaper buying across the country, Alden has become a force in the newspaper industry, second only to Gannett, publisher of USA Today and over 260 other dailies. Journalists denounced Alden’s practice of cutting the costs of the publications he owns, often through layoffs. Alden says this saved many newspapers from closing their doors.
In May, Alden bought Tribune Publishing, the chain that includes The Chicago Tribune and The Daily News in New York City, in a deal valued at $ 633 million.
Lee Enterprises was founded in 1890 and has newspapers in 26 states, according to its website. A spokesperson for the company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.