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Press of Atlantic City might get saved from hedge fund takeover

Lee Enterprises expected to repel hostile takeover by Alden

By David Wildstein, March 03 2022 10:22 am

A national newspaper chain that owns The Press of Atlantic City, seems to have repelled a hostile takeover bid by hedge fund Alden Capital.

Two longtime Lee Enterprises board members appear to have the votes to win re-election after two leading proxy advisory firms recommended support for them.

Alden was dealt a major blow two weeks ago when a Delaware judge upheld a move by Lee to reject two opposition board candidates.

This week, the nation’s leading newspaper staff union, NewsGuild, slammed prior practices by Alden.

“We believe that Alden Global Capital has done more harm to the news industry than any single factor, including the online platforms,” NewsGuild union president Jon Scheluss told Poynter.  “Within a few years of acquiring a news organization, Alden quickly hollows it out, taking a liquidation approach of selling off historic offices, shutting down printing plants and slashing staff, while hiking subscription prices.”

Alden mounted an unsuccessful hostile takeover of Gannet in 2019.  Later, GateHouse Media purchased Gannett as part of a merger deal.

Lee purchased the Atlantic City newspaper and two dozen others from Berkshire Hathaway in 2020.

New Jersey no longer has any independently-owned old-media daily newspapers.  Gannett operates nine dailies, Advance Publications owns four papers, and Digital First Media has the Trentonian.

Most of the state’s Gannett newspapers, including The (Bergen) Record, will stop printing and delivering Saturday newspapers on March 12.  This Saturday will be the last print edition.

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