Gannett Co. has privately sweetened its bid for Tronc, hoping to overcome resistance to a sale from the parent of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, according to a new Wall Street Journal story, which cites people familiar with the matter.
Details of the new overture, which comes after Tronc rejected a prior bid of $15 a share worth $864 million, couldn’t be learned, according to the WSJ. Tronc is expected to respond by the end of the week, some of the people said, indicating Gannett’s long pursuit of the storied newspaper chain may soon come to a head.
Gannett’s GCI shares closed this afternoon hardly changed at $12.14 on the news, which the WSJ reported late last night.
Any deal could have far-reaching implications for Gannett’s existing 109 dailies, including The Courier-Journal, depending on how the company reallocates personnel and financial resources to absorb the Tronc papers. Louisville is a regional headquarters for a customer service center and a page production hub that handles design work for other dailies in the chain.
On Monday, The New York Times said a deal was imminent if Gannett could win over Tronc’s mercurial chairman, the technology mogul Michael Ferro.