Board of Lee newspapers enacts poison pill to fend off Alden takeover bid

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Lee Enterprises Inc. said its board has approved a shareholder rights plan, also known as the poison pill, that would prevent hedge fund Alden Global Capital LLC from acquiring more than 10% of the company. Because it belies Alden’s hostile bid for the newspaper’s publisher.

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The scheme will be effective for one year, the company said on Wednesday. Lee Enterprises Lee,
+0.83%
Chairman Mary Junk said the plan would give the company’s board and its shareholders time to assess the takeover proposal without any pressure.

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Junk said in a statement, “In line with its fiduciary duties, Lee’s board has taken this action to ensure that our shareholders receive fair treatment, complete transparency and security in relation to Alden’s unsolicited offer to acquire Lee.” be received.”

Alden Global on Monday Lee offered to acquire In a deal that would value the Davenport, Iowa-based publisher about $141 million. Alden’s discovery of Lee is the hedge fund’s third attempt to acquire a large local-news publisher in nearly two years. after a failed bid USA TODAY owner Gannett Company to acquire GCI,

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in 2019 and a successful move earlier this year to buy Tribune Publishing, owner of the New York Daily News and the Chicago Tribune.

Alden Global has been criticized for aggressive cost-cutting by employees of media properties and industry experts, while its executives say the cuts help preserve newspapers.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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