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Report: Gannett purchase of Tribune parent company ‘imminent’

POLITICO says Gannett’s purchase of the Chicago Tribune’s parent company is “likely imminent."| Scott Olson/Getty Images

Gannett’s purchase of the Chicago Tribune’s parent company is “likely imminent” and could be announced as early as Monday morning, POLITICO is reporting.

Confidential sources have told POLITICO’s Ken Doctor that asset purchase agreement drafts have been exchanged by Tribune publisher Tronc and Gannett, the publisher of USA Today and the country’s second-largest newspaper chain. Tronc’s board of directors held a meeting Thursday that was likely focused on the sale, according to the report.

POLITICO cites the future role of Tronc chairman Michael Ferro as one of the possible complications in the final negotiations.

Tronc’s group of newspapers includes the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times. Formerly known as Tribune Publishing, the company changed its name in June. Tronc stands for Tribune online content.

POLITICO said the “likely” price would be $18.50 to $19 a share.

Tronc shares closed Friday at $16.88. Shares in the last few months have traded as high as $17.80. Gannett shares closed Friday at $11.64, well below their 52-week high of $17.91.