Connect with us

Business

Stewart Bainum seeks new financing for $680M bid for Tribune

Published

on

Stewart Bainum seeks new financing for $680M bid for Tribune

A Maryland hotel executive is trying to assemble new financing for a $680 million offer to buy Tribune Publishing after his partner, a Swiss billionaire, pulled out of the bidding for the newspaper chain.

Stewart Bainum is talking to other potential investors after Hansjörg Wyss dropped out in the last few days, a person familiar with the matter said Sunday.

Wyss told Bainum that it would require too much investment to turn the chain’s flagship Chicago Tribune into a nationwide publication, according to the person, who spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss the private negotiations.

Wyss and Bainum offered to buy the chain for $18.50 per share, topping a previous offer of $17.25 per share, or $634 million, by Tribune’s largest shareholder, hedge fund Alden Global Capital. Bainum told Tribune representatives about Wyss’ withdrawal on Friday, and they authorized him to talk to other potential investors, according to the person familiar with the matter.

Bainum was initially interested in buying one of Tribune’s papers, the Baltimore Sun, but is committed to acquiring the entire company. Two investors have expressed interest in buying Tribune’s Orlando (Florida) Sentinel: former Thomson Financial CEO Mason Slaine and Craig Mateer, who founded a baggage-handling company based in Orlando.

Through a spokesman, the special committee of the Tribune Publishing board that is handling the offers declined to comment. An attempt to contact Wyss through his foundation was not successful.

Tribune also owns the New York Daily News, the Hartford (Connecticut) Courant and other newspapers.

Alden owns many newspapers through its MediaNews Group subsidiary, including the Boston Herald, the Denver Post and the San Jose Mercury News. Alden became Tribune Publishing’s largest shareholder in 2019 and now holds a 32 percent stake in the Chicago-based company. It plans to take Tribune private.

Wyss, 85, founded medical device maker Synthes USA, which he sold to Johnson & Johnson for about $20 billion in cash and stock in 2012. Forbes recently estimated his wealth at $6 billion. Wyss now lives in Wyoming.

Wyss’ withdrawal was reported earlier by the Chicago Tribune.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

Fox sees Q3 profit gain despite sales dip after 2020 Super Bowl

Published

on

Fox sees Q3 profit gain despite sales dip after 2020 Super Bowl

Fox Corp. said Wednesday that it bested Wall Street’s third-quarter estimates despite advertising sales declines compared to last year when it broadcast the Super Bowl.

Shares of Fox rose 2 percent in after-hours trading.

Fox attributed its profit growth to new investments, such as its acquisition of streaming service, Tubi, as well as 10 percent uptick in affiliate revenue from cable providers.

For the period ended March 31, the New York-based company said net income totaled $567 million, or 96 a share. This compares with income of $78 million, or 13 cents, a year earlier. Excluding items, Fox said profit totaled $568 million or 88 cents a share, beating Wall Street’s estimates for earnings of 49 cents a share.

Advertising sales fell 24 percent, dragging overall revenue down 6.5 percent to $3.22 billion from $3.44 billion last year. Fox attributed the ad declines to tough comparisons over last year when it broadcast the Super Bowl.

Fox executive chairman and chief executive officer Lachlan Murdoch said the company “continues to deliver operationally and financially” despite the lack of Super Bowl ad sales as well as the pandemic’s impact on ad sales.

The CEO said Fox News retained its top spot in the ratings following the departure of the Trump administration. He also touted Fox Sports’ renewal of its NFL deal to extend its Sunday NFC rights package and the exit of its costly Thursday Night Football deal. Murdoch said by exiting the deal a year early, Fox will have a $350 million to $400 million positive earnings impact in the fiscal year.

“These strategic milestones, coupled with a slate of complementary, high-growth, digital-focused assets, led by continued record growth at Tubi, provide a powerful platform to grow our business for the long-term,” he said.

Fox on Wednesday also announced it agreed to acquire Outkick Media, the news outlet founded by media personality Clay Travis. While Outkick touts itself as a “fearless sports media company,” it also covers media, culture and politics, increasingly with a viewpoint that’s inline with Fox News opinion programming.

Continue Reading

Business

Christie’s says wine that went to space could sell for $1 million

Published

on

Christie’s says wine that went to space could sell for $1 million

The wine is out of this world. The price is appropriately stratospheric.

Christie’s said Tuesday it is selling a bottle of French wine that spent more than a year in orbit aboard the International Space Station. The auction house thinks a wine connoisseur might pay as much as $1 million to own it.

The Pétrus 2000 is one of 12 bottles sent into space in November 2019 by researchers exploring the potential for extraterrestrial agriculture. It returned 14 months later subtly altered, according to wine experts who sampled it at a tasting in France.

Tim Tiptree, international director of Christie’s wine and spirits department, said the space-aged wine was “matured in a unique environment” of near zero-gravity aboard the space station.

The trip turned a $10,000-a-bottle wine known for its complexity, silky, ripe tannins and flavors of black cherry, cigar box and leather into a scientific novelty — and still a fine bottle of wine, Tiptree said.

“It’s just a very harmonious wine that has the ability to age superbly, which is why it was chosen for this experiment,” he said. “It’s very encouraging that it was delicious on return to Earth.”

Private space startup Space Cargo Unlimited sent the wine into orbit in November 2019 as part of an effort to make plants on Earth more resilient to climate change and disease by exposing them to new stresses. Researchers also want to better understand the aging process, fermentation and bubbles in wine.

At a taste test in March at the Institute for Wine and Vine Research in Bordeaux, France, a dozen wine connoisseurs compared one of the space-traveled wines to a bottle from the same vintage that had stayed in a cellar.

They noted a difference that was hard to describe. Jane Anson, a writer with the wine publication Decanter, said the wine that remained on Earth tasted a bit younger, the space version slightly softer and more aromatic.

The wine, being offered by Christie’s in a private sale, comes with a bottle of terrestrial Pétrus of the same vintage, a decanter, glasses and a corkscrew crafted from a meteorite. It’s all held in a hand-crafted wooden trunk with decoration inspired by science fiction pioneer Jules Verne and the “Star Trek” universe.

Proceeds from the sale will fund future research by Space Cargo Unlimited. Several other bottles from the dozen that went to space remain unopened, but Christie’s says there are no plans to sell any of them.

Tiptree says the price estimate, “in the region of $1 million,” reflects the sale’s likely appeal to a mix of wine connoisseurs, space buffs and the kind of wealthy people who collect “ultimate experiences.”

The lot includes the bottle of 2000 Pétrus that remained on Earth so the buyer can compare the two — should they decide to open the one that went into orbit.

“I would hope that they will decide to drink it, but maybe not immediately,” Tiptree said. “It’s at its peak drinking, but this wine will last probably another at least another two or three decades.

Continue Reading

Business

Hyundai recalling 390,000 cars over fire risk

Published

on

Hyundai recalling 390,000 cars over fire risk

Hyundai is recalling more than 390,000 vehicles in the US and Canada for two problems that can cause engine fires. In one recall, owners are being told to park their vehicles outdoors until repairs are made.

The largest recall covers more than 203,000 Santa Fe Sport SUVs from 2013 through 2015. Some are being recalled a second time. Brake fluid can leak into the anti-lock brake computer, causing an electrical short that can lead to fires. Owners should park outdoors and away from structures until the problem is fixed, according to documents posted Tuesday by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Dealers will replace a fuse and replace the computer if necessary. Owners will be notified in June.

The brake computer problem has caused 18 fires in the US, but no injuries, according to documents.

Hyundai says the recall “enhances the remedy” from one issued in September of 2020. The company says it kept investigating after the September recall and found that replacing the fuse would reduce the safety risk. “Hyundai is conducting this new recall to ensure the safety of its customers,” the company said in a statement.

The other recall covers nearly 187,000 2019 and 2020 Elantras, and 2019 through 2021 Konas and Velosters. All have 2-liter engines.

The piston rings may not have been properly heat-treated, which can cause engine damage, oil leaks and possible fires. Hyundai says the rings can be too hard and can be chipped, scuffing the engine cylinder. The piston problem has caused five fires but no injuries, according to documents.

Dealers will inspect and replace the engine if necessary. They’ll also install piston noise sensing software. Owners will be notified in late June.

Continue Reading

Trending