An Oxogenian Swiss billionaire who makes his home in Wyoming and has donated hundreds of millions to environmental causes, Tribune Publishing is a surprise new player in bidding for the major newspaper chain, most recently in the hands of New York A hedge fund that seemed destined to expire.
Hansjorg vais (Pronounced Hans-Yörg Wes), a former chief executive of medical device manufacturer Synthes, said in an interview Friday that he told Tribune publication, Maryland hotelier Stewart W., in a bid for an offer. Bainam had agreed to join with Junior. Alden may pursue Global Capital’s plan to take full ownership of the company.
Mr. Wyss, who is Gave something away from your destiny To help preserve wildlife habitats in Wyoming, Montana and Maine, he said he was motivated to join the Tribune bid by his belief in the need for a strong press. “I have the opportunity to do 500 times more than what I’m doing now.”
Alden, which already owns about 32 percent of Tribune Publishing shares, is known for drastic cuts in newspapers controlling it through its MediaNow Group subsidiary. Last month, hedge funds reached an agreement Along with the Tribune, whose papers include The Daily News, The Baltimore Sun and The Chicago Tribune to buy the rest of the company’s shares at $ 17.25.
Under that plan, Mr. Bynum, a lifelong Marylander, agreed to set up a nonprofit group that would buy Maryland newspapers owned by The Sun and two other tribunes for $ 65 million. The agreement was reached shortly thereafter, however, negotiations between Mr. Bynum and Alden ceased. This inspired the Chairman Mr. Bainum Choice Hotels InternationalOne of the world’s largest hotel chains to bid on March 16 for all of the Tribune, beating Alden’s numbers with an offer $ 18.50 per share.
That bid was valued at about $ 650 million on the company. The Alden agreement valued the Tribune at about $ 630 million.
The Tribune was not sent because of Mr. Banham’s offer. a Securities filing On Tuesday, it was revealed that the company’s board recommended that shareholders approve the Alden bid. At the same time, The Tribune Board Gave Mr. Bannam to pursue funding for his higher bid.
He did Mr. This is done by teaming up with Wes, who said in an interview that he planned to own the company’s flagship letter, while he and Mr. Bannum seek beneficiaries for the Tribune’s seven other metro dailies, including The Orland Sentinel And The Hartford Court.
“They made the bid because they want The Baltimore Sun,” Mr. Waynes told Min. Said referring to Bannam. “I said, ‘Yes, that’s fine. And I have to make The Tribune better than what it is now.'”
The agreement reached by Mr. Wyss and Mr. Bainum is non-binding, Mr. Wyss said. He said that it had come together in recent times and is detailed in a letter sent to Mr. Banum on Friday. A person with knowledge of the discussion between Mr. Wyss and Mr. Bainum confirmed that each person planned to put $ 100 million in for a bid of $ 650 million, and Mr. Wyss said he would add additional money to finance the debt. Will be ready to supply
Mr Bannum declined to comment. A spokesman for three members of the Tribune’s board who are not affiliated with Alden declined to comment. An Alden spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A decade ago, Mr. Wyss headed Synthes sales to Johnson & Johnson For roughly $ 20 billion. Mr. Wise and his family – a daughter, Amy, also live in Wyoming – had the largest stake in Synthes, which held about half the shares.
The Tribune’s sale, which the newspaper company expects to be finished by July, requires regulatory approval and a yes vote from company shareholders representing two-thirds of non-Alden stock. Medical entrepreneur Patrick Soon-shyong, who owns The Los Angeles Times with his wife Michelle B. Chan, has enough Tribune shares to squash the Alden deal by himself. Dr. Soon-shiong declined to comment on Saturday.
Mr. Wyss said he would be a citizen-minded patron of the Chicago Tribune. “I don’t want to see another newspaper in which the American people have a chance to increase the amount of truth going down the drain,” he said.
Alden’s possible takeover of the Tribune has been strongly opposed by many Tribune journalists. Alden has aggressively cut several MediaNews Group publications, including The Denver Post and The San Jose Mercury News. Critics say the hedge fund sacrifices the quality of journalism for greater profits, while Alden argues that it saves papers that would otherwise join the thousands that have gone out of business in the last two decades .
85-year-old Mr. Wise said he was partially inspired by the New York Times to join Mr. Bannum Essay Last year in which two Chicago Tribune reporters, David Jackson and Gary Marks, warned that an Alden purchase would be “a ghost edition of The Chicago Tribune – a newspaper that can no longer carry out its essential watchdog mission.” Ever since this article appeared, both journalists left the paper.
Born in Bern, Mr. Wise first visited the United States in 1958 as an exchange student while working for the Colorado Highway Department. He was a journalist as a youth, he said, covering skiing for Neu Zuchar Zitung, A. The Zurich paper, and the filing of Der Bund on the American Games, a burn paper, while he was studying at Harvard Business School.
He said he believed the Chicago Tribune would prosper under his ownership.
“Maybe I’m naive,” Mr. Wyss said, “but the combination of paying enough money to a professional staff to do the right thing and put a lot of money into digital will eventually make it a very profitable newspaper.”