Friday, September 30, 2005

Morgan Stanley Raises Possibility Of Takeover Of Tribune Company!

Rommenesko links to a NPR broadcast with the following quote:

Doug Arthur, Morgan Stanley media analyst: "If they don't show better [stock price] numbers, the company could get taken out by somebody. And then there could be a lot of carnage."

LA needs two or three or four people who have said they want to buy the Times to form a syndicate to purchase the Tribune Company. They can then keep the whole operation - or just the LA Times and other properties they want, and sell off the rest. One advantage of the last course is that individual properties will usually sell for more separately than if they are bundled together.

Additionally, buying the papers as a group removes the risk that the paper would be perceived as a vehicle for any one person's viewpoint. Then the company can go public again and the original investors can retain control of a working majority of the voting stock. But they can also get back much of their invested capital between the proceeds of asset sale and the public offering.

Lastly, once the Tribune knows they are in danger of being taken over - the endangered corporate heads might be willing to throw the LA Times overboard for a very attractive price to save the rest of the ship.

So what do you say... David Geffen, Eli Broad, Haim Saban, Rick Caruso, Michael Milken, Richard Riordan, and Ron Burkel?

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