Monday, October 8, 2012

Media General completes its exit from the newspaper business with the sale of The Tampa Tribune

Media General, which had previously sold all but one of its newspaper holdings to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, had an agreement to dump its last property, The Tampa Tribune, to another private equity company, Revolution Capital Group. The sales price was a rock bottom $9.5 million.

Media General said that after adjustments, the net proceeds before expenses woiuld be approximately $2 million.

It had been speculated that Media General was hanging on to its Tampa newspaper to sell it to Halifax Media Group, which owns other Florida properties, but today's announcement of a sale a this pricing means that either a deal could not be worked out, or that Halifax was simply not interested in the property.

“It’s a bittersweet day for Media General to complete the sale of its last remaining newspaper group,” Marshall N. Morton, president and chief executive officer, said in the company's announcement. “The Tampa Tribune was our largest and second oldest newspaper. Many Tribune employees have decades of service. The Tribune staff has been extraordinarily dedicated to providing their readers with excellent journalism, creating value for their advertisers and supporting the local community."

"The prospects for future success are strong for The Tampa Tribune and its associated print and digital platforms. We will lead an orderly transition, focused on the needs of our customers, and we look forward to working with The Tribune management team to position the business for future growth," said Cyrus Nikou, founding partner of Revolution Capital Group.

The PE firm that now owns The Tampa Tribune has a pretty small portfolio of holdings. In addition to its new acquisition, the company also owns stakes in Lawrence Schiff Silk Mills, a manufacturer of bow ties, and Dove Professional Apparel, a manufacturer of medical apparel.

The new purchase at least guarantees the newsroom of new attire.