Wednesday, September 21, 2005

David Geffen Wants To Buy LA Times! Others Do, Too! Tribune Won't Sell! But -- Possible Solution!,0,5001480.story?coll=la-home-business

The LA Times last Saturday ran an article on Dreamworks partner David Geffen's interest in buying the presumptive Los Angeles Times from the Godless Forces Of Evil - AKA - the Tribune Companies.

The article also mentioned as potential buyers, Eli Broad, who made fortunes from home building and financial services; Haim Saban, an entertainment magnate who first scored big with the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers"; and Michael Milken, who made a fortune in junk bonds. A person was also interviewed by the Times who declined to state his name who wanted to buy the paper and a certain ex-Mayor has also been known to express interest in the past.

The only problem is that the LA Times is not for sale, even at the inflated (IMHO) four billion dollar price the LA Times article claims it is worth.

Read the article for other details.

But there is a way around the Tribune's - very temporary - reluctance to sell a still profitable, but badly struggling, and rapidly declining property.

Buy the whole magilla.

That's right. Right now market value for the entire Tribune empire (water pumps included) is a very tasty - 13 billion.

Mere Media Mogul Chump Change!

Then the new owners can sell off the loose parts they are not interested in - and keep the LA Times and any other properties they might want to own. Better yet, the new LA owners could run the entire empire - from Los Angeles - and then send Steve Lopez... to the Chicago Tribune! It might not rank up there with plowing salt into the soil of Carthage - but it's close enough for me.

Plus there is also another option.


It appears we have five or six billionaires who want local control of the newspaper (counting the one not named). So two or three of them team up, start buying stock, and send a shot right over the bow of the listing Tribune Company. In the parlance of the Highway men of yore, they would then announce - the LA Times - or your (independent corporate) life. The Tribune, I would bet, would then cough up the LAT faster than a cat would a particularly nasty furball.

And if the Tribune still won't negotiate - then just keep buying more stock. The share prices will go up even more in expectation of a takeover, speculators will start buying the stock - and company will go into full play and then... well, then just wait for the white flag of surrender.

No comments: