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Newspaper-backed company sale could go for $3 billion


Reports are swirling today that media company Classified Ventures is working with Moelis & Co. to sell for several billion. Ventures is backed by a number of newspaper publishers including Gannett Co. and McClatchy Co. (MNI).

Via Bloomberg:

The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported that Classified Ventures may seek $3 billion. Andrea Hurst, a New York-based spokeswoman for Moelis, declined to comment on the sale of Shannon Swierczek, a spokeswoman for classified ventures, didn’t immediately reply to a voice mail left outside of normal business hours yesterday.

Classified Ventures sold for $585 million to CoStar Group Inc., it said last week. McClatchy, which owns almost 26 percent of Classified Ventures, separately said its proceeds from that sale will total $147 million before tax.

There are five newspapers that own the company.

Tribune Co., which publishes the Chicago Tribune, owns nearly 28% of Classified Ventures. Moody’s reported that the sale is positive for Tribune’s credit profile. Gannett (which owns USA Today) also owns about 27%. (via ChicagoBusiness)

Classified Ventures sold for $585 million to CoStar Group Inc., it said last week. Tribune said it expects to receive a gross distribution of about $160 million from that sale. is one of the Internet’s leading sites for buying or researching vehicles.

MNI stock is up 13% today on the news.

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