Lee Enterprises asks investors to help fight off hedge fund

Lee Enterprises headquarters in Davenport, Iowa on July 22,2012. (Farragutful/Wikipedia)
Lee Enterprises headquarters in Davenport, Iowa on July 22,2012. (Farragutful/Wikipedia)(KCRG)
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 1:57 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises is asking its shareholders to help it fight off a hostile takeover offer from “vulture hedge fund” Alden Global Capital.

The publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Buffalo News and dozens of other newspapers, including nearly every daily newspaper in Nebraska, sent a letter to shareholders Monday asking them to support its board nominees in the dispute with Alden.

Lee, which is based in Davenport, Iowa, already rejected Alden’s $24 per share offer because it said the $141 million bid grossly undervalues Lee, but the two sides are locked in a court battle over whether Alden will be able to nominate its own directors.

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 last 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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