- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 14, 2006

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Billionaire music mogul David Geffen, long known to be interested in owning the Los Angeles Times, has made a $2 billion cash bid for the paper, two newspapers reported yesterday.

Mr. Geffen’s bid has not been accepted or rejected by Times’ parent, Chicago-based Tribune Co., which would prefer a sale of the entire media company instead of individual assets, the Times and Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Geffen did not return a call seeking comment.

Tribune owns 11 papers, including its flagship Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Sun, as well as 24 television stations and the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

Mr. Geffen’s bid had been expected. Two other Southern California billionaires, philanthropist Eli Broad and supermarket investor Ron Burkle, have teamed to make a bid for the entire Tribune Co.

Tribune has said it expects to decide whether to sell the company whole or piecemeal by early next year. Analysts said selling the Los Angeles Times separately would generate enormous tax bills for Tribune investors.

Tribune told Mr. Geffen it would not consider his offer until it had first considered bids for the entire company, both the Times and Journal reported.

Tribune spokesman Gary Weitman said the company “can’t confirm, deny or comment on any speculation about potential interest in the company or any of our individual properties.”

Tribune has said it expects to make a final decision during the first quarter regarding a potential sale of the company.

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