July 8, 2008 / 3:27 PM / 11 years ago

Gannett buys McClatchy, Tribune ShopLocal stakes

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Gannett Co Inc said on Tuesday that it has bought stakes in retail marketing and database services company ShopLocal LLC from fellow newspaper publishers McClatchy Co and Tribune Co.

Gannett bought McClatchy’s 15 percent stake for about $7.9 million, McClatchy said in a press release. The company, which publishes The Miami Herald and Sacramento Bee, will use the money to pay off debt.

McClatchy plans to take a charge of about $3 million in its second-quarter results after reducing ShopLocal’s carrying value to its sales price. It also plans to record a cash tax savings of $5.6 million on the sale in the fourth quarter.

Gannett also bought Tribune’s 42.5 percent stake in ShopLocal, which is worth about $22.3 million.

Gannett, the McLean, Virginia-based publisher of USA Today and dozens of local papers in the United States and England, plans to link ShopLocal with its online ad media service PointRoll to help its advertisers better target potential customers.

McClatchy bought a 33 percent stake in ShopLocal as part of its acquisition of newspaper chain Knight Ridder in 2006. Later that year, it sold 18.3 percent to Gannett and Tribune. At the time, ShopLocal’s value was about $85 million. It has since fallen to $52.5 million.

Gannett, McClatchy and Tribune are partners in several other online companies, including jobs website CareerBuilder.com, Classified Ventures and local news and comment site Topix.

Gannett shares fell 33 cents, or 1.75 percent, to $18.50 on the New York Stock Exchange. McClatchy shares fell 27 cents, or 4.94 percent, to $5.20.

Reporting by Robert MacMillan; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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