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Tribune Up 60% Following Gannett's Takeover Proposal

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Gannett Co., Inc. GCI disclosed it proposed to buy Tribune Publishing Company TPUB for $12.25 a share in cash. The proposal worked the total value to be about $815 million. That included assumption of some liabilities including $390 million outstanding debt as of December last year.

According to Gannett, its all cash proposal offered 63 percent premium to Tribune stockholders compared to the closing stock price of Tribune on April 22, and a 58 percent premium to the volume weighted average trading price over the past 90 days. The company also indicated its $12.25 per share offer represented a significant premium to the $8.50 share price at which Tribune recently issued shares and provided immediate and certain cash value to Tribune stockholders.

On Friday, Gannett's stocks closed higher by 1.81 percent. In the pre-market trading, Tribune traded 61.44 percent higher.

Gannett Chairman, John Jeffry Louis, commented, "The Gannett Board unanimously believes that the acquisition of Tribune would deliver substantial strategic and financial benefits for the combined company, and we are pleased to offer Tribune stockholders a significant and compelling premium and immediate cash value for their investment."

He added, "A combination with Tribune would rapidly advance Gannett's strategy to grow the USA TODAY NETWORK, the largest local to national network of journalists in the country, to include more local markets and new platforms, which we believe will benefit readers and result in significant and sustained value creation for Gannett stockholders."

Similarly, Gannett's President and CEO, Robert Dickey, said, "We believe Tribune shares the new Gannett's unwavering commitment to journalistic excellence and delivering superior content on all platforms. In this respect, the proposed combination of Gannett and Tribune would bring together two highly complementary organizations with a shared goal of providing trusted, premium content for the readers and communities we serve. We are confident that a combined Gannett and Tribune would add value for stakeholders of both companies as we work together to foster deep and vital connections among the members of our communities, provide excellent solutions for our business partners and drive value for our stockholders."

The company said that as one entity, Gannett and Tribune would have the financial stability to continue maintaining journalistic excellence, independence, high standards and integrity for years to come. Gannett indicated that it could consummate a transaction quickly without any financing condition.

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