Tribune Sale: The Last, Best(?) Prediction

Posted by: Jon Fine on January 16, 2007

(UPDATE 1/18: This is why I generally avoid gambling and most forms of predictive markets! Reality checks as of 10:15 AM Eastern time in parentheses.)

Bids due tomorrow for Tribune Co., and (based on no specific inside information whatsoever) I hereby predict:

That a private equity consortium bids for the entire company at a modest premium over today’s stock price, which has hovered around $30.50. A very modest premium, that is, which won’t get much above $32.00. (UPDATE 1/18: Reuters reporting Chandler bid for the entire company is $31.70 per share; the complex Burkle-Broad bid for around 30% of the company is $34 per share.)

That the likeliest consortium to do this, of those reported to still be kicking the tires, is the one headed by Madison Dearborn, Providence Equity Partners, and Apollo Management. (UPDATE 1/18: Wrong!)

That said consortium retains current management. (UPDATE 1/18: Wrong on the consortium, at the very least. Burkle/Broad reportedly keeps current management. Imagining a scenario in which the Chandlers would do this is comedic.)

That a potential Eli Broad/Ron Burkle joint bid reported on by the Los Angeles Times never materializes. (UPDATE 1/18: Wrong. Really, really wrong.)

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The media, entertainment and marketing worlds continue to shapeshift on a near-daily basis, as new forms arise and old assumptions erode. Where is it all going? No one really knows. But on this blog BusinessWeek’s media writers Tom Lowry and Ron Grover promise to provide ample helpings of scoop, provocation, and sharp analysis as they track and annotate this constantly changing terrain.

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