Thursday, March 15, 2012

Freedom Communications Courting Suitors

Freedom Communications LogoImage via WikipediaToday is the self-imposed deadline for Irvine, Calif.-based Freedom Communications, owner of eight tv stations and 100 newspapers, including flagship Orange County Register, to receive bids for the sale of all or part of its newspaper holdings, according to accounts in The Los Angeles Times and the Poynter.org Web site.

One needs a scorecard to sort through the possible buyers of Freedom, which emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009 (see "TUOL" post 11/19/10). Halifax Media Holdings purportedly is eying Freedom's Florida and California publications, which include The (Panama City) News Herald and The Huntington Beach Wave, while Philadelphia-based Versa Capital Management, LLC has expressed interest in Freedom's holdings in the Midwest, which include The Alton (Ill.) Telegraph, according to the Poynter.org post.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times claims potential purchasers include Times parent Tribune Co., MediaNewsGroup, Inc., and a couple of Los Angeles-based private equity firms, Platinum Equity and Gores Group.

Freedom is mum on negotiations for an ownership change. Investment groups Alden Global Capital, Luxor Capital Group and Angelo, Gordon & Co. have been at the helm since Freedom threw off the shackles of bankruptcy.
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