As the below Chicago Tribune story says - the break-up cost of the deal are a... puny.... twenty-five million for a multi-billion dollar deal and it's not due to close until towards the end of the year. What they do NOT further emphasize is, apparently Zell only had to match the Broad/Burkle deal and Broad in particular has said he was willing to make less money with the paper than other people would and Sam Zell figures he can make a ton of money at this price.
Zell wins Tribune auction; Cubs to be sold
By Michael Oneal
Tribune staff reporter
April 2, 2007, 8:23 AM CDT
After an epic corporate drama, Chicago's Tribune Co. sold itself in a deal that puts the 159-year-old media conglomerate in the hands of the city's most iconoclastic entrepreneur, setting up a high-stakes bet that a pillar of the nation's old-media establishment can tug itself into the digital future without toppling over.
Early Monday, following a weekend of heated negotiations, the company's board accepted a revised $34-dollar-a-share proposal from Chicago real estate magnate Sam Zell to take the company private in a complex, $8.2 billion deal structured around an employee stock ownership plan.
Tribune had been leaning toward the Zell offer anyway because it was a firm merger agreement that could be closed in a shorter amount of time. But the board wouldn't accept it until the 65-year-old Highland Park native, who spent the weekend at his house in Malibu, Calif., agreed to raise a previous bid of $33 a share to meet Broad and Burkle's $34-a-share offer.
The deal carries a relatively low, $25 million break-up penalty, however, and a person close to Broad and Burkle said the duo may consider coming back with a fresh offer.