Tronc, the owner of Chicago Tribune newspaper is looking forward to purchasing Wrapport Holdings, the owner of Chicago Sun-Times newspaper. Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Reader, Aggrego online business, and news page The Straight Dope are all under the management of Wrapport Holdings.
Michael Ferro, the chairman of Tronc used to be chairman of Wrapports but stepped down in 2014 after paying $44.4 million for a 16.6% stake in Tribune Publishing (renaming it Tronc), publishers of Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and nine other daily newspapers. Today, Ferro is turning back to acquire the company he used to be its chairman, Chicago Tribune reports.
Under the close watch of the US Department of Justice, which had earlier launched an antitrust investigation into Chicago Sun-Times, the deal may close as early as July 1 provided no other investor is willing to offer a purchase of Sun-Times.
Under the demands of the Justice Department, Wrapports said it will publish a full-page ad to seek for additional buyers, not minding the offers being made by Tronc. If no other buyer steps forward to acquire the newspaper group, then it will surely go to Tronc by July 1, led my Ferro. Meanwhile, Ferro has promised to make the Chicago Sun-Times an independent newsroom run as a separate unit.
About 12 daily newspapers used to be published under various managements in Chicago, but this is no longer the case with dwindling advertising revenue and consumer patronage. However, if Chicago Tribune moves ahead to acquire Chicago Sun-Times, this means both daily newspapers will be the only two left in Chicago but operated by the same owner group.
Justin Dearborn, CEO of Tronc, would not go into the details of the proposed acquisition of Sun-Times, but he noted the purchase may be in the best interest of Tronc shareholders. The terms of the deal remain secret, and Dearborn said his company may announce the price of purchase once the deal closes, The Street wrote.
The Chicago Tribune was established in 1847 and the Chicago Sun-Times was founded under various names in 1844.