Tampa Tribune buyers paid $1.2 million less than value of land, buildings and equipment
My colleagues in the Tampa Bay Times business desk dug into the public records concerning Media General's sale of the Tampa Tribune and related assets to California-based private equity firm Revolution Capital Group, discovering that the new owners paid $9.5 million but gained land, equipment and buildings valued at $10.7 million.
Here's a bit from their story, published in today's newspaper:
"Media General disclosed in a regulatory filing Tuesday that it is writing off nearly $25 million in selling the Tribune, its last major newspaper holding. The Richmond, Va., media conglomerate had previously recorded an estimated $18 million after-tax loss in anticipation of the sale. But Tuesday, it said it will record an additional loss of between $6 million and $7 million.
The deal was a double win for Los Angeles-based Revolution Capital Group: Media General held on to shouldering pension liabilities for the paper while Revolution Capital receives millions of dollars worth of real estate and equipment at the newspaper's building on South Parker Street.
In addition to the Tribune and TBO, Revolution Capital on Monday became the new owner of Hernando Today, Highlands Today, Suncoast News, Sunbelt Newspapers and the Spanish-language publication Centro. Along with those business operations, which include 618 employees, Revolution received assets whose estimated values add up to nearly $10.7 million, according to Hillsborough County Property Appraiser's assessments."
Click here to read much more. Below is an email the newspaper sent to those who signed up for email alerts from TBO.com about the sale.
THE TAMPA TRIBUNE IS HERE FOR GOOD
The Tampa Tribune, along with its community newspapers, and TBO.com, was purchased by Revolution Capital Group.
The Tribune will be operated by a newly created, locally based company called the Tampa Media Group, Inc. The sale includes Spanish-language weekly newspaper Centro along with Highlands Today, Hernando Today, Sunbelt Newspapers and the Suncoast News.
"Our new owners have faith in this newspaper, this community and this market," said Tampa Tribune President and Publisher, William Barker. "They believe, like we do, that this market and our brands have a bright and robust future. Our local leadership and ownership structure reinforces our personal relationships in this community that are so important to our shared mission. Just as important, we will continue to provide indispensable news and information that meets the highest standards of journalism. We've been this community's number one newspaper for more than 100 years, and we're not going anywhere. The Tampa Tribune is here for good."
Revolution Capital Group founder and managing partner Robert Loring stated, "We are definitely in this for the long haul." Loring noted the paper must be willing to challenge the powerful and wealthy, even at the cost of revenue. "We believe reporters need to be given their independence, and a paper has a responsibility to report accurately on what it finds," he said, adding that Revolution has no interest in directing the paper's political outlook.
Revolution's other founding partner, Cyrus Nikou, said, "We are looking at the Tribune as a long-term investment and multimedia play in the future."
The Tribune's longtime corporate owner, Virginia-based Media General Inc., announced the transferring ownership of the Tribune, its affiliated newspapers and TBO.com to the Los Angeles-based Revolution Capital Group.
"It's a bittersweet day for Media General to complete the sale of its last remaining newspaper group," said Marshall N. Morton, president and chief executive officer of Media General, noting the Tribune was the company's largest and second-oldest newspaper.
Media General will retain its NBC television affiliate, WFLA, News Channel 8. The Tribune and News Channel 8 will continue the news partnership that began in the late 1990s. This sale marks a new chapter for the Tribune, a newspaper that has published daily for more than a century.