Lee Enterprises tries to ward off hostile takeover by Alden
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — The Lee Enterprises newspaper chain has adopted a “poison-pill” plan to protect itself from a hostile takeover while it considers an unsolicited offer from hedge fund Alden Global Capital to buy Lee for $24 a share.
The plan would take effect if Alden gains control of more than 10% of Lee’s stock in the next year.
The Davenport, Iowa-based company said the plan would allow its other shareholders to buy shares at a 50% discount at that point or possibly get free shares for every share they already own. Alden said last week that it already owed more than 6% of Lee’s stock. The plan Lee adopted Wednesday would make it more expensive for Alden to acquire a controlling stake.
Lee Enterprises operates in 77 markets in the United States, including in Wisconsin, where it operates the Wisconsin State Journal, La Crosse Tribune, and Chippewa Herald as well as others in the state and the Winona Daily Journal in Minnesota.
Alden has become one of the largest newspaper owners in the country through a series of acquisitions in recent years, including this year’s purchase of the Tribune papers. Along the way, Alden has developed a reputation for intense cost cuts and layoffs.
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