- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 21, 2006

CHICAGO (AP) — Representatiaves from the Chandler family, Tribune Co.’s largest shareholder, attended sales presentations for the company at its Chicago headquarters this week, according to a published report.

Citing unidentified sources with knowledge of the situation, the Chicago Tribune reported yesterday that the family seems to be working with at least one of the private-equity firms that have shown interest in the company.

Also citing unidentified sources, the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this week that the Chandlers have talked with billionaire Ron Burkle’s investment firm about making a joint offer for some or all of Tribune’s assets.

Representatives of the Chandler family and Tribune declined comment yesterday.

The California family sold Times Mirror, owner of the Los Angeles Times, to Tribune in 2000 for $6.5 billion. Members of the family have been pressuring Tribune to sell off all or parts of the company given its lagging stock price and slumping fortunes.

The company announced its willingness for a sale in September, but officials have been tight-lipped about how many bids have been received and for how much. The deadline for bids is Jan. 17.

Sources told the Chicago newspaper that Tribune has given sales presentations to rival media giant Gannett Co. and in Los Angeles to representatives for billionaire businessman Eli Broad and Mr. Burkle, both of whom have expressed interest in buying the Los Angeles Times.

Tribune also has given presentations to seven private-equity firms, sources said, including: Boston’s Bain Capital, Chicago’s Madison Dearborn Partners, New York’s Apollo Management, Providence Equity Partners of Rhode Island, and the Carlyle Group of the District.

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