Tribune Co chief executive Sam Zell is close to giving up his claims to buy a 40 percent stake in the company, the New York Post said, citing a source familiar with the matter.

Zell looks ready to give up a warrant, which he negotiated as part of his $8.2 billion deal to take the company private in 2007, according to the paper.

The warrant gives Zell the right to buy about 40 percent of the company for $500 million and is the basis of his control over Tribune Co, the paper said.

No agreements have been reached to date, a Tribune spokesman told the paper. Sam, as well as the rest of the management team, remain actively engaged and committed to Tribune.

Tribune was not available for comment on the report.

Tribune filed for bankruptcy in December after going private in a deal led by Zell that resulted in the company having $13 billion debt.

Zell said last month Tribune could emerge from bankruptcy by the end of this year, while the likeliest buyer of its Chicago Cubs baseball team remains the Ricketts family.

(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Dan Lalor)