Newspaper publisher Gannett rejects $1.36B buyout offer

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 4, 2019 9:13 AM
Gannett stock.jpg

FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2014, file photo, specialist Michael Cacace, foreground right, works at the post that handles Gannett on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

(McLean, Va.) -- The publisher of USA Today and other newspapers, including four in central Pennsylvania, is rejecting a $1.36 billion buyout from a hedge-fund backed media group with a history of taking over newspapers and slashing jobs.

Gannett's brands include the Chambersburg Public OpinionHanover Evening SunLebanon Daily News and York Daily Record.

MNG Enterprises, better known as Digital First Media, made its unsolicited bid of $12 per share last month.

Gannett Co. said Monday that its board determined the offer undervalued the company and it isn't in the best interests of the company or its shareholders. It was a unanimous vote.

The newspaper industry is consolidating as the media market grows increasingly fragmented. In recent weeks companies including Gannett, Verizon and Buzzfeed have announced layoffs.

Digital First has a reputation for stringent, painful cost-cutting. Its biggest shareholder is Alden Global Capital LLC, a New York hedge fund that invests in distressed companies.

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