Tronc chairman agrees 'different' deal with Gannett possible

November 4, 2016 8:27 AM EDT

A woman walks past the building of Los Angeles Times newspaper, which is owned by Tribune Publishing Co, in Los Angeles, California, U.S. on April 27, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo

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(Reuters) - Tronc Inc (NASDAQ: TRNC) Non-Executive Chairman Michael Ferro agreed on Friday there was a possibility of striking "a different type of deal" with fellow newspaper publisher Gannett Co (NYSE: GCI), days after merger talks between the companies fell apart.

Ferro was asked on CNBC if Tronc, publisher of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, might agree to "a different type of deal" with USA Today publisher Gannett. He replied: "Absolutely, if it's in the best interests of our shareholders."

He did not provide details of what such a deal might entail.

Tronc said on Tuesday that Gannett had terminated merger talks after encountering "an unexpected delay" in financing.

A Gannett spokesman said several financing options were available, but the No. 1 U.S. newspaper publisher by circulation decided to terminate talks "after considering both accretion to shareholders and whether the terms make sense for the company."

The two parties had agreed to a purchase price of $18.75 per Tronc share, or about $683 million overall, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Tronc shares were untraded before the opening bell, after closing at $9.52 on Thursday. Gannett shares were also untraded, having closed at $7.47.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr)

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