Lenders again win Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News with $105M cash bid, top Perelman’s $85M

By Maryclaire Dale, AP
Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lenders again win Philly newspapers with $105M bid

PHILADELPHIA — Secured lenders won a bankruptcy auction for Philadelphia’s two largest newspapers with a $105 million cash bid.

Their offers tops a $85 million bid from philanthropist Raymond Perelman for The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News.

Creditors plan to cut costs by 13 percent across the board, partly by slashing newsroom salaries 6 percent.

But they have pledged to continue publishing both newspapers and hold off on any newsroom layoffs for one year.

The 93-year-old Perelman, a city native who said he wanted to preserve the integrity of the papers, said Thursday that his offer was final.

A group of local investors paid $515 million for the company in 2006 but are selling it to escape bankruptcy protection.

Creditors had won a previous auction but failed to close on the deal.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philanthropist Raymond Perelman says $85 million in cash is his final offer for The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News at a bankruptcy auction.

Perelman’s bid is $20 million less than the $105 million bid made by creditors hoping to take over the company.

Still, a lower bid can be deemed the “highest and best” offer in a bankruptcy case.

Lawyers for the current owners are weighing the offers during a break in Thursday’s court auction.

A group of local investors paid $515 million for the company in 2006 but are selling it of to escape bankruptcy protection.

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