Tribune Company said Thursday that it has completed its deal to go private with real estate magnage Samuel Zell taking over as chairman of the board and chief executive officer.
The $8.2 billion buyout deal led by real estate magnate Sam Zell values the company at $34 per share. He had initially invested $250 million in Tribune but raised his investment to $315 million.
The buyout restructures the company as an employee-owned firm. The deal was funded mostly through debt. Tribune has said it plans to sell its Cubs baseball team, Wrigley field stadium and its stake in a cable sports network by the first half of 2008.
Tribune, along with the newspaper industry, has been mired in its monopolistic origins, and we intend to create a fresh, entrepreneurial culture that is fast and nimble, and which rewards innovation, Zell said in a statement.
Yesterday, Dennis FitzSimons said he would step down as chairman and chief executive officer immediately after the deal closed.
Tribune's board will have a total of eight members with five new members coming in on Thursday.
Part of the company's executive manage team includes a pair of executive vice presidents in Randy Michael and Gerald Spector.