Alden Global Capital Makes Offer to Buy Lee Enterprises | Business and Economy

Hedge fund Alden Global Capital has made an offer to acquire Lee Enterprises, owner of Quad-City Times and Dispatch Argus.

Alden already owns 6% of Lee’s shares. Alden sent a letter Monday to Lee’s board of directors offering to buy the remainder for $ 24 a share, which is roughly $ 141 million, in cash. Alden said he could complete the acquisition in four weeks.

“We believe that as a private company and part of our successful national platforms, Lee would be in a better position to maximize its resources and realize strategic value that improves its operations and supports its employees in their important work of service. of local communities ”, the read offer. “Our interest in Lee is a reaffirmation of our substantial commitment to the newspaper industry and our desire to support local newspapers over the long term. “

Alden acquired the Tribune newspapers earlier this year, which included the Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun. Alden also owns other newspapers, including The Denver Post, The Mercury News, The New York Daily News, The Orange County Register and The Boston Herald.

“Our goal is to deliver valuable news and information to local subscribers nationwide, led by a talented team of seasoned newspaper executives who have worked in journalism for over 30 years on average,” the offer says. .

Alden has a reputation for drastically cutting the costs of the newsrooms it acquires, including selling the newspaper’s real estate and laying off a significant percentage of the newsroom staff. The newspaper industry has consolidated as it grapples with a digital transition and declining revenues, and financial firms like Alden have played an increasingly important role as owners. Newsroom jobs fell by nearly half between 2004 and 2018, according to Pew Research, and the pandemic has exacerbated those tensions.

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