Real estate magnate buys second biggest US publisher

After a contentious last-minute duel between competing American multi-millionaires, Sam Zell, a wealthy real-estate developer, emerged as the successful bidder for America's second largest publishing company.

Zell, who until now has not been in the US publishing business, is taking over – subject to Government approval – the l60 year old Tribune Publishing Co which owns The Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, New York's Newsday and numerous other American newspaper and TV companies.

Plus the Chicago Cubs baseball team. The price? Just over $8,000 million. The Chicago Tribune company, which has been on the market for almost ten months, had to wait until almost the last minute for any serious bidders.

Finally, Zell, owner of one of America's largest real-estate companies emerged as the possible contender. That attracted two other millionaire real-estate tycoons (one of them the ultra-wealthy California department store owner, Ron Burkle, who last made news when he accused a New York Post writer of trying to shake him down on the promise of keeping his name out of the paper's gossip page).

This created a bidding war – described here as The Battle of the Dueling Billionaires – until Zell topped his rivals with an offer of $34 a share – one dollar more than the others offered.


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