Tribune Company accepted a bid from Sam Zell after the Chicago real-estate tycoon met the company’s demand for a higher offer to match one from Los Angeles billionaires Ronald W. Burkle and Eli Broad, The New York Times reported, citing a person close to the talks. Precise terms of the deal were expected to be disclosed this morning, though the price is $34 a share, or $8.2 billion, this person said. The sale would close a contentious 10-month chapter in the history of the storied Tribune Company, which owns The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune and other newspapers, 23 television stations and the Chicago Cubs. [The New York Times Article]
Does Sam Zell understand what he has in his hands, and what needs to be done to turn the company around? It may be a very good idea to focus on the online business, and sell of the television stations. Managing a large, diversified portfolio, ridden with so much debt, will create a lack of focus that will make a turnaround impossible to engineer otherwise.