Alden sues Post-Dispatch owner after news publisher rejects its takeover bid

Missouri

FILE – A pressman grabs a freshly printed paper off the press at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s printing facility in Maryland Heights, Mo. in this Nov. 11, 2008 file photo. Newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises has rejected a takeover offer from the Alden Global Capital hedge fund that is one of the largest newspaper owners in the country with a reputation for intense cost cuts and layoffs. Lee said Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021 that its board unanimously rejected Alden’s offer to buy the company for $24 per share or about $141 million because it “grossly undervalues” Lee. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Alden Global Capital hedge fund stepped up its efforts to buy Lee Enterprises this week by filing a lawsuit against the newspaper publisher accusing Lee’s board of improperly denying shareholders the chance to have a say on its takeover offer.

Lee rejected Alden’s offer to buy the company for $24 a share, or roughly $141 million, last Thursday because the company’s board decided the offer “grossly undervalued” the company. But Alden argued in the lawsuit it filed Wednesday that Lee shouldn’t have rejected its offer and rebuffed its attempt to nominate three directors without even talking to the hedge fund.

Lee officials said Alden’s claims are “baseless” and its nomination form was clearly invalid under the company’s rules.

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