Shareholders eligible to decide on Zell takeover

Tribune Co. has set Aug. 21 as the date for its special shareholders meeting to vote on the agreement to take the Chicago-based newspaper and TV company private in a takeover led by real estate mogul Sam Zell.

Tribune shareholders on record as of July 12 will be eligible to vote on the deal, a complex transaction that hinges on Tribune going private under an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. Tribune’s board of directors voted to approve Zell’s $8.2 billion takeover bid in April (Daily Variety, April 3).

Tribune said that more details about the takeover will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission later this month. The special shareholders meeting will be held in Chicago but the exact time and location has yet to be determined, Tribune said.

Last month, Tribune announced that its May revenues dropped 11% year-over-year on revenue declines at its newspapers, which include the Los Angeles Times, and TV stations, which include WPIX-TV New York and KTLA-TV Los Angeles. Tribune’s steep revenue drop surprised the industry despite the broader woes of the newspaper and broadcast TV sector.

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