Shareholders of Tribune Publishing, parent company of the New York Daily News and one of the country’s largest newspaper chains, voted Friday on a takeover bid by hedge fund Alden Global Capital. In a statement, Alden appeared to say the deal was approved, an assertion questioned by the union representing Tribune journalists.
Alden, which already owned nearly one-third of Tribune, stands to take full control of the New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and other Tribune papers in a deal worth roughly $630 million. Through its Digital First Media chain, Alden also owns the Boston Herald, Denver Post and San Jose Mercury News.
Patrick Soon-Shiong, the owner of the Los Angeles Times and Tribune’s No. 2 shareholder, abstained from the vote. Union officials cast doubt on the outcome because of that.
They cited Tribune’s proxy statement of April 20, which states that approval of the deal required the votes of at least two-thirds of shares not owned by Alden, and that an “abstain” vote counted the same as an “against” vote. Soon-Shiong, in a statement issued through a representative, said he “abstained from voting” and that he viewed Tribune as a “passive investment.”
“We’re digging into this question right now,”