Michael Ferro’s deal to sell shares of Tronc falls through
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Michael Ferro, the former chairman of the Chicago Tribune’s parent company, Tronc, has called off a deal to sell his 25 percent stake in the company.
A Tuesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission states that Merrick Media, also owned by Ferro, “terminated” the deal to sell more than 9 million shares of Tronc to McCormick Media, LLC — which is owned by a distant relative of legendary Tribune Publisher Colonel McCormick.
The deal, struck in April, fell through because of McCormick’s “breach of its obligations,” the filing states.
Details of that “breach” were not disclosed.
A representative from McCormick Media could not be reached.
A spokeswoman for Tronc declined to comment “as we were never a party to the transaction.”
Ferro — the former chairman of Wrapports, the former parent company of the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Reader — stood to make more than $208 million from the sale.
Ferro himself stepped down as Tronc chairman earlier this year, hours before reports surfaced in which two women accused him of sexual misconduct. Other top executives have been accused of harassment as well.
The company sold off its largest asset, the Los Angeles Times, in early February, shortly after journalists there voted to unionize — but the sale has yet to close.