A hedge fund-backed media company is making a big play to acquire Gannett Inc. for $12.00 per share in cash.
MNG Enterprises, which is already one of the largest newspaper businesses in the U.S. with approximately 200 publications, announced on Monday that it has sent a letter to Gannett proposing the acquisition.
MNG, which is also known as Digital First Media, is known for buying distressed newspapers across the country and drastically reducing costs.
The hedge fund backed by Alden Global Capital has already acquired newspapers such as the Denver Post, Orange County Register and the Boston Herald. If the deal goes to Gannett, MNG will become the largest owner of U.S. daily newspapers in the country.
In a statement, MNG said the proposed transaction “would represent a cash premium of 41% to the Gannett stock price as of December 31, 2018, and MNG has asked Gannett to enter into discussions with MNG immediately about a strategic combination.”
Additionally, MNG requested Gannett immediately commence a review of strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value, commit to a moratorium on the acquisition of any additional digital assets and commit to a feasible, strategic and financial path forward before hiring a new CEO.
“With Gannett’s CEO departing by May and its key digital executive leaving later this month, there’s now an even greater leadership void. Frankly, the team leading Gannett has not demonstrated that it’s capable of effectively running this enterprise as a public company. Gannett shareholders cannot sit by and watch further value erode while the Board casts about for a strategy and a leader, especially when there is an opportunity to maximize value right now. We believe Gannett shareholders deserve better,” MNG wrote in its letter Gannett board of directors.
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Gannett stock was up nearly 20 percent in pre-market trading Monday.