Alden Global Capital makes offer to buy Lee Enterprises, owner of several Montana newspapers

CARA SMITH

Hedge fund Alden Global Capital has made an offer to acquire Lee Enterprises, owner of dozens of newspapers nationwide, including several in Montana.

Alden already owns 6% of Lee’s stock. Alden sent a letter Monday to Lee’s board of directors offering to buy the rest for $24 a share, which totals around $141 million, in cash. Alden said it could complete the acquisition in four weeks.

“We believe that as a private company and part of our successful nationwide platforms, Lee would be in a stronger position to maximize its resources and realize strategic value that enhances its operations and supports its employees in their important work serving local communities,” the offer read. “Our interest in Lee is a reaffirmation of our substantial commitment to the newspaper industry and our desire to support local newspapers over the long term.”

Alden acquired Tribune papers earlier this year, which included The Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun. Alden also owns other newspapers, including The Denver Post, The Mercury News, The New York Daily News, The Orange County Register and The Boston Herald.

In Montana, the company owns the Billings Gazette, Helena Independent Record, Missoulian, Montana Standard and Ravalli Republic. 

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