The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Tribune Co. is now leaning away from selling itself after putting itself on the auction block four months ago. Quoting unnamed sources who are "familiar with the situation," the Journal has learned Tribune Co.'s board is now in favor of a 'self-help' plan involving a spin off of its broadcast division as well borrowing money to pay out a one-time special dividend payment to shareholders. The months-long bidding process for Tribune highlighted the deep-seated dispute between the largest shareholder, the Chandler family, and Tribune's management over the company's future. However, not a single bid offered Tribune shareholders a premium over current share prices, including the Chandlers own bid.
Sources: Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Reuters
Commentary: Chandler Family Threatens Tribune With Proxy Fight, Trying to Sort Out Tribune Bids After Sale Deadline Passes, Tribune Q4 2006 Earnings Call Transcript
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Tribune Co. (TRB). Competitors: The New York Times Co. (NYT), Gannett Co. (GCI), The Washington Post Co. (WPO), The McClatchy Company (MNI)
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