San Diego deal pales next to Peoria price
When the sale of the Union-Tribune was announced this week, owner Copley Press did not disclose the terms offered by the buyer, Platinum Equities, a private-equity firm in Beverly Hills that specializes in distressed properties.
Noting that the pending deal includes 13.5 acres of choice real estate worth some $100 million, industry analysts believe the Union-Tribune is slated to change hands in the best case for a price between $100 million and $150 million. The Wall Street Journal quoted anonymous sources that said the price is only $50 million.
Thus, the range of possible prices for the paper would go from a low of $185 to a high of $550 for each of its 269,819 daily subscribers. By contrast, Copley in 2007 realized $1,576 per subscriber when it sold for $380 million a group of Midwestern papers with a collective circulation of 241,060.
The Midwestern properties, which were acquired by GateHouse Media, included the Peoria (IL) Journal Star, the Springfield (IL) Journal-Register, the Lincoln (IL) Courier, the Galesburg (IL) Register-Mail, the Canton (OH) Repository, the Massillon (OH) Independent and the New Philadelphia (OH) Times-Reporter.