Gannett Co. (GCI) is helping Tribune Co. CEO Sam Zell raise some much-needed cash. The nation’s largest newspaper chain is paying Tribune $135 million for a 10% interest in CareerBuilder, a deal that values the employment site at $1.35 billion.
The deal raises Gannett’s interest in CareerBuilder to 50.8%, leaving Tribune with 30.8%. McClatchy (MNI) and Microsoft (MSFT) hold 14.4% and 4% respectively. As a result, Gannett gets three seats on CareerBuilder’s six-member board; the others are filled by Tribune, McClatchy and CareerBuilder.
Tribune will use the cash to pay down some of the $13.4 billion debt related to the buyout led by real estate mogul Zell. The company sold off Newsday to Cablevision for $650 million; the Chicago Cubs and Tribune’s interest in a local regional sports network are also on the block.
In a statement, Zell said the deal allows Tribune to “monetise some of the value CareerBuilder has built over the years, while enabling us to maintain a signficant stake in a great online property.”
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