DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) – Newspaper chain Lee Enterprises adopted ‘poison pill’ plan to protect itself from hostile takeover as company board reviews unsolicited hedge fund bid Alden Global Capital.
The shareholder rights plan would come into effect if Alden takes control of more than 10% of Lee’s shares at any time during the next year. The Davenport, Iowa-based company said the plan would allow its other shareholders to buy shares at a 50% discount at this point or potentially get free shares for every share they own. already.
New York-based Alden said last week that he already owed more than 6% of Lee’s shares when he offered to buy the rest of the shares for $ 24 a piece, or about $ 141 million. The plan Lee adopted on Wednesday would make it more costly for Alden to acquire a controlling stake in the company.
Lee President Mary Junck said the so-called “poison pill” plan will give the board of directors and investors “the time to properly assess the acquisition proposal without undue pressure while preserving the opportunity for them. shareholders to realize the long-term value of their investment. to Lee.
Lee owns the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, The Buffalo News, and dozens of other newspapers, including nearly all of the Nebraska dailies.
Alden has grown into one of the largest newspaper owners in the country through a series of acquisitions in recent years, including this year’s purchase of Tribune newspapers. Along the way, Alden has built a reputation for cost reductions and intense layoffs.
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