Exclusive: Donerail Group in talks to buy Chicago Tribune owner Tronc – sources

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Exclusive: Donerail Group in talks to buy Chicago Tribune owner Tronc - sources

(Reuters) – Donerail Group, an investment firm led by former activist hedge fund Starboard Value LP executive Will Wyatt, is in talks to acquire Tronc Inc (TRNC.O), the publisher of Chicago Tribune, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Tronc Inc (TRNC.O), formerly Tribune Publishing Company, is seen at TechFair LA, a technology job fair, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Fi;le Photo

Donerail Group has secured financing for the deal and is in advanced negotiations with Tronc, the sources said, cautioning that a deal is not imminent and there is no certainty an agreement will be reached. If a deal is reached, an announcement could come later this month, one of the sources added.

The sources asked not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential. Donerail declined to comment, while Tronc did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Chicago Tribune reported on Wednesday that Tronc was weighing an offer from a private equity firm, without identifying it.

Wyatt is a veteran investor in the media and the consumer sector, having led some of Starboard’s biggest bets in the space, including in Tribune Media Co (TRCO.N), one of the largest U.S. television station operators.

Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

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