Tribune Co.'s independent directors, overseeing exploration of a sale or breakup of the second- largest U.S. newspaper publisher, hired Morgan Stanley (MS:US) as their financial adviser.
Morgan Stanley will advise the special committee that was formed on Sept. 21, Chicago-based Tribune said today in a statement. The committee hired Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom as legal counsel last month.
Chief Executive Officer Dennis FitzSimons, under pressure from investors unhappy with a long-term drop in the stock price, is leading a management effort to consider a sale of the entire company or some its businesses. The management team hired Merrill Lynch & Co. and Citigroup Inc. (C:US) as its advisers on Sept. 28. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS:US) is advising the Chandler family trusts, the company's largest shareholder.
Management and the board committee probably will announce their recommendations by the end of the year, the company said on Sept. 28.
Tribune spokesman Gary Weitman declined to comment beyond today's release. The company has scheduled its third-quarter earnings for tomorrow.
Shares of Tribune rose 85 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $33.75 in extended trading. They fell 8 cents to $32.90 at 4 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have risen 8.7 percent this year.
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