Posted: Tuesday, November 1, 2016 – 11:26 AM
USA Today publisher Gannett announced Tuesday it was ending its bid for Los Angeles Times owner Tronc, a deal which would have created a powerhouse in the newspaper sector.
Months after its offer for the newspaper rival was announced in April, Gannett said in a brief statement it “has determined not to pursue an acquisition of Tronc,” without elaborating.
Gannett had initially offered $815 million for the group formerly known as Tribune Publishing, which also publishes the Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and other dailies.
It later boosted the offer to $864 million, and some reports last month said the two firms were on the verge of a deal.
Gannett is already the largest US newspaper group with more than 100 dailies and some analysts said the deal could provide additional scale to help it better adapt to the digital age.
Tronc executives had on several occasions rejected the Gannett offer, saying the company would pursue its own digital transformation, although some shareholders had reportedly been pressuring the group to accept a deal.
Tribune Publishing, rebranded as Tronc this year, was spun off the larger Tribune Co. in 2014, and has been examining options such as the sale of the coveted Los Angeles daily.
There was no immediate comment on Gannett’s announcement from Tronc, which was scheduled to release its quarterly results later Tuesday.
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