• Chicago Tribune Publishing Co.

CHICAGO – Tribune Publishing Co., which owns the Chicago Tribune and several other newspapers across the country, has designated a special committee of its board of directors to act on the company’s behalf concerning Alden Global Capital’s recent acquisition proposal.

The special committee consists of three independent board members, the company announced in a news release last week. The panel has engaged the asset management firm Lazard as its financial advisor and the law firm Davis Polk and Wardwell as legal counsel.

“No assurance can be given that Alden’s proposal, or any other transaction, will be consummated,” Tribune Publishing said. “The company does not intend to disclose developments unless and until the special committee (and) its board of directors determines there is a need to update the market.”

Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund which already owns a 25% stake in Tribune, recently offered to acquire the rest of the company for $14.25 per share, The Wall Street Journal reported in its Dec. 30 edition. Tribune shares closed Dec. 30 at $12.79 per share.

The newspaper said that Tribune’s market value stands at approximately $470 million after a lengthy decline as local newspapers’ prospects grow dimmer.

Tribune’s shares did not change much in 2020 and were up 8.8% premarket on low volume, the newspaper reported.

The term “premarket” refers to the period of trading activity that occurs before the regular session of the U.S. stock exchanges opens. Trading volumes in the pre-market session are usually much lower compared with regular trading hours.

—Staff reports