Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Paging David Geffen, Et Al - Tribune Stock Might Start To Get Real Cheap!


LA Observed has the news that the Tribune Companies lost their case - big time - in tax court:

This is a day the Tribune Company hoped would never come—or one of them at least. Call it the revenge of Times Mirror's former bosses. When the Chicago-based Tribune swooped in to buy Times Mirror and the L.A. Times from unsuspecting executives in 2000, it also acquired a potential tax liability dating from an earlier, too-clever TM scheme to dodge the IRS. Well, on Tuesday the U.S. Tax Court sided with the IRS. After interest, Tribune owes—are you sitting down?—a cool billion. Not ephemeral paper assets, but actual money. Tribune will appeal but has decided to go ahead and pay the tax bite to avoid building up more penalties.

Still to come - a decision on if the Tribune will be forced to divest either The LA Times - or KTLA Channel Five:

Tribune's other big gamble, that the U.S. will change the law and let them keep both the Times and KTLA rather than force a sale, still lies a couple of years ahead.

So local billionaries - time to start pooling your funds to buy Tribune Company at the upcoming blue light special sale.

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