According to the Orange County Register, the financial books for the entire Tribune Co newspaper group are expected to be sent out any day now. It’s the first step in the bidding process. “The anticipated sale of the Los Angeles Times and seven other Tribune Co newspapers is shaping up as a battle of the titans with at least four big-money bidders expected to be in the running for what media experts say could be a $1 billion deal.” The billionaire Koch brothers confirmed last week they are interested in acquiring newspapers though did not specify which ones. Other potential LA Times buyers cited by analysts include Rupert Murdoch, Eli Broad, Ron Burkle and Austin Beutner (a former Los Angeles deputy mayor and Wall Street big bucks guy), and Aaron Kushner (CEO of Freedom Communications Inc which owns the Orange County Register). Tribune Co hired two investment banks in February to consider the offers and various options. Media experts expect a deal to be done by year’s end. But “there’s also the possibility nothing will happen,” the OC Register noted. “Tribune CEO Peter Liguori has said the Tribune board may decide to keep the newspapers, although most experts believe that is unlikely.”
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