Thursday, June 18, 2009

And Then There Was... Two?

In a move sure to surprise only the comatose, the Tribune let slip today that they've opened the bargaining table up to other bids:

An exclusivity period between Tribune and the Ricketts group has ended and the media company is now talking to a group that includes private equity investors Marc Utay and Leo Hindery, three sources familiar with the situation said.

"We know that they went back to the Utay group," said one of the sources, who asked not to be identified because the sales process has not closed.

Spokesmen for Tribune Co and Tom Ricketts, who is leading his family's bid, said their talks are ongoing and Ricketts spokesman Dennis Culloton described them as positive. Utay and Hindery declined to comment.

The Ricketts peeps pooh-poohed Zell's public comments last month that he was willing to find other bidders. "So, if the Ricketts deal doesn't get done, I'm sure there will be other ones," said Zell on May 28th.

We're just about back to square one.

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