Papers: Gannett US$388mln Tribune Publishing takeover

Also covered: Microsoft, Facebook, Apple and Google

Who says papers are a dying art?

Newspaper publisher Gannett Co Inc (NYSE:GCI) is offering to buy LA Times owner Tribune Publishing Co (NYSE:TPUB) for around US$388mln, according to the newspaper.

Newsquest owner Gannett is offering US$12.25 in cash for each Tribune share, a 63% premium to Tribune's Friday closing price of US$7.52.

The total value of the deal is around U$815mln including about US$390mln of outstanding debt, but so far Tribune, which also owns the Chicago Tribune and nine other daily papers, has been rebuffing Gannett’s advances.

In a letter sent to Tribune Publishing chief executive Justin Dearborn, Gannett said it was "disappointed" by Tribune's response and "continued refusal to begin constructive discussions."

“We believe the financial and strategic logic of combining the two companies is clear," said the letter, posted on Gannett's website. "We believe Gannett is uniquely willing and able to propel Tribune into the position of strength that will allow its beloved and historic publications and other assets to survive and thrive in this challenging environment.”

Elsewhere, Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) sold twice as many Watches as iPhones in each device’s debut year, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Many condemned the Apple Watch, but the first new product since the iPad seems to be performing well.

Apple doesn’t disclose sales, but analysts estimate about 12mln watches were sold in year one at an average price of US$500, adding around US$6bn in sales to the tech giant.

Sticking with tech giants, over at the New York Times, the paper reports Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) have agreed to withdraw complaints against each other with regulators around the world.

The two firms have stepped up recent efforts to settle their once-bitter conflicts, and have said they will seek to settle future debates before seeking regulatory action.

“Microsoft has agreed to withdraw its regulatory complaints against Google, reflecting our changing legal priorities,” said Jennifer Crider, a Microsoft spokeswoman.

The paper also notes that Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) owner Mark Zuckerburg has said he wants to triple the size of his social network, which now has 1.6 billion members.

To reach this many people, however, he has to look at making the internet more affordable for people, potentially adding pressure and consolidation on the telecommunications sector, according to Akshay Sharma, research director at the technology advisory firm Gartner. 

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