Maryland businessman offers to buy Tribune newspaper company

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Maryland businessman has offered to buy the Tribune Publishing media company that owns The Baltimore Sun, the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers.

The Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday that hotel executive Stewart Bainum Jr. has offered $650 million for the company.

But the Chicago-based newspaper company’s board has already endorsed a $630 million offer from another bidder, New York hedge fund Alden Global Capital. The board of directors has recommended that shareholders approve Alden’s deal to buy the company for $17.25 a share.

The board, however, gave Bainum the green light to pursue financing for his bid of $18.50 a share. Bainum has already said that he wants to buy The Sun and turn it into a nonprofit.

Bainum is the chairman of Maryland-based Choice Hotels International. He initially had a nonbinding agreement to buy Baltimore Sun Media for $65 million when Alden’s acquires Tribune. But negotiations over the terms faltered.

Bainum subsequently made his bid for the whole company. Other properties that it owns include the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, the Hartford Connecticut Courant in Connecticut. the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the New York Daily News and The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia.