(Photo credit: Wikipedia)Crain's Chicago Business (Chicagobusiness.com) reports that Wrapports, LLC, owner of the daily Chicago Sun-Times tabloid, expects to complete its acquisition of the free weekly Chicago Reader for roughly $3 million next week.
According to Crain's, Wrapports, which forked up $23 million last December to buy Sun-Times Media, publisher of The Chicago Sun-Times, along with seven suburban dailies and 30 suburban weekly newspapers, is close to tying up the deal to land the Reader. As previously reported here (see "TUOL" post 3/13/12), Texas-based Bulkey Capital LP was retained to oversee the unloading of the Reader, which presently is owned by New York investment banker Atalaya Capital Management L.P.
The Atalaya hedge fund came into the Reader in 2009 when it purchased it out of bankruptcy, along with The Washington City Weekly and Creative Loafing Atlanta, from an insolvent Florida company, Creative Loafing, Inc., for $5 million. The Reader, which distributes about 90,000 copies weekly through newspaper boxes, restaurants, bars and retail shops, is expected to compete against the Chicago Tribune-published RedEye for Chicago's younger audience.