Industry watchers are wondering what will happen with the announced GateHouse buy of Gannett after MNG Enterprises, controlled by hedge fund Alden Global Capital, acquired a 9.4 percent stake in New Media Investment Group last week, as Gannett-owned USA Today reports.
GateHouse owner New Media is managed by Fortress Investment Group, which is owned by Tokyo-based Softbank. MNG attempted but did not succeed in a hostile takeover of Gannett recently.
An SEC filing from MNG indicated it may vote against, campaign against or suggest alternatives to the merger.
Also increasing his stake in New Media was billionaire Leon Cooperman, whose investment has hit 9.9 percent. Cooperman is thought to favor the merger, USA Today indicated.
Meanwhile, the New York Post reported that Tribune Publishing is mulling a $10-a-share cash bid for Gannett, citing a well-placed source.
Tribune would make that move if Gannett’s stock doesn’t top $10 a share.
Shares of both Gannett and GateHouse fell after the companies announced their $1.38 billion proposed deal last week.
Analysts, including Ken Doctor at Newsonomics, said Alden may be aiming to shed its newspapers or get MNG merged with New Media or Gannett.