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MNG says Gannett has ‘no credible plan’ for financial successs

Potential buyer accused media giant of ‘mischaracterizing’ meeting

By David Wildstein, February 11 2019 7:21 pm

The media company that has launched a bid to purchase Gannett says the national newspaper chain has “no credible plan” to run their business.

“Gannett is simply trying to distract from the fact that they have no credible path to achieve a $12 valuation on their own,” said MNG Enterprises, which launched a takeover bid last month.  “Under Chairman Jeff Louis’s watch, Gannett’s Adjusted EBITDA is down a staggering 31% and free cash flow has declined by a whopping 50%, resulting in the destruction of over 40% of the company’s value – all the while leveraging up to overspend on aspirational digital assets.”

MNG, also known as Digital First Media, says that “Gannett should do the right thing and resume discussions with MNG towards a transaction, or in the alternative, immediately commence a strategic review process to maximize value for all Gannett shareholders.”

The company accused Gannett of mischaracterizing their meeting with MNG last week and says they are wrong about the firm’s ability to close the transaction.  MNG says it can finish their due diligence within four weeks, if Gannett cooperates

Gannett owns a national chain of newspapers, including eight New Jersey dailies: The (Bergen) Record, the Asbury Park Press, the Courier News, the Courier-Post, the Home News Tribune, the Daily Record, the Daily Journal, and the Herald News.

None of the New Jersey-based Gannett newspapers have covered the takeover bid, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal on January 13.

Digital First owns the Trentonian, as well as the Denver Post, the Boston Herald and more than 200 other publications.

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