Mar 19, 2009

'Fire-sale price'

The Wall Street Journal story on the sale of the San Diego Union-Tribune to Platinum Equity has a little more information about the price:
The deal price wasn't disclosed, but a person familiar with the matter said it was less than $50 million, a price largely driven by the Copley Press real estate, which includes the complex housing the Union-Tribune and another facility. The value of the assets -- even amid a downtrodden real-estate market -- gives the buyers some cushion against the struggling newspaper, according to people familiar with the matter.

The fire-sale price reflects the dried-up market for big newspapers. A number of papers have been put up for sale in the last year, but bankers say suitors are staying on the sidelines while it is hard to predict when advertising declines will hit bottom. E.W. Scripps Co. recently closed the Rocky Mountain News and Hearst Corp. this week ended the print edition of its Seattle Post-Intelligencer after the papers attracted no serious offers.

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