The bidding war for Philadelphia Newspapers LLC’s Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com have finally reached an end. Even despite the promised addition of $10 million to Philadelphia-area investors by philanthropist H.F. Lenfest, the company was ultimately purchased for $139 million by its senior lenders, who will have to procure a loan to continue operation of the company.
The final offer made by the local investors (including Lenfest, Philadelphia home builder Bruce Toll, Ronald Perelman and Raymond Perelman, David Haas, Philadelphia insurance broker William Graham, and the Carpenters Union Pension Fund) had come out to about $129 million. One of the main goals of the group had been to keep the papers local.
Robert J. Hall, an adviser to the creditors’ committee and former publisher of the Inquirer and Daily News up until his retirement seven years ago, will act as chief operating officer under the new ownership.
Philly.com, which had (quite obviously) been keeping a close watch on the auction, features the following interview with company CEO Brian P. Tierney, who called the bidding process “a heck of a fight.” He also adds that, after not having slept for 38 hours, he’ll finally “sleep like a baby.” Meaning he’ll likely wake up every hour in tears: