PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The top investor in Philadelphia’s largest newspapers wants the company sold in a quick, closed auction among current partners while a rival wants a slower sale open to all.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com is expected to be sold for the sixth time in eight years, and would come less than two years after powerful Democrat George Norcross, Lewis Katz and others joined forces as Interstate General Media to buy the businesses.
After a falling out, Norcross and Katz are leading rival factions that filed briefs this week in the Delaware court handling the dissolution and sale of their company.
Norcross, who owns an insurance company, wants a private sale among current investors, done on just a few days’ notice.
“You and I both have the funding readily available to buy each other out,” Norcross wrote in a Jan. 29 letter to Katz, the former New Jersey Nets owner, which went unanswered.
“A new president, publisher and CEO need to be hired. … A new editor for the Inquirer needs to be identified. A new editor for Philly.com must be hired,” Norcross wrote in the letter, which was attached to a court filing Wednesday. “This dispute has delayed those critical moves for months.”
Norcross suggested that he and Katz meet for a two-man showdown on 48 hours’ notice, “with winner taking all.” Katz, in his filing, seeks a slower approach.
He asked Chancery Court Judge Donald F. Parsons Jr. to hold a one- or two-day hearing to determine the auction rules. He called for a closed-bid auction open to all, to fetch the highest price, while Norcross argued for an “English auction” with incremental bidding.
“The (Newspaper) Guild’s motion to intervene demonstrates that there is interest outside of the current ownership in bidding on IGM,” Katz’s lawyer wrote, referring to an employee effort to mount a joint bid with an unnamed partner. “Additional bidders will promote an even greater sale price.”
Inquirer Editor Bill Marimow’s contract expires in April, and won’t be renewed if Norcross stays onboard. Publisher Bob Hall has support from Norcross, but not Katz.
The company’s sales price has dropped from $515 million in 2006 to about $55 million in 2012.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Caring Crisis: Rising tide In Alzheimer’s disease leads to shortage of caregivers
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain