August 9, 2019 / 1:31 PM / 4 months ago

MNG Enterprises reveals 9.4% stake in New Media, protests Gannett deal

(Reuters) - Newspaper chain MNG Enterprises revealed a 9.4% stake in New Media Investment Group Inc NEWM.N on Friday, and said it may decide to vote or campaign against the company’s proposed deal with Gannett Co (GCI.N).

MNG, now one of the top shareholders in New Media, said the Gannet deal may not be in the best interest of New Media shareholders, adding it would propose other strategic options. (bit.ly/2TnxGcm)

New Media on Monday said it will buy USA Today-owner Gannett in a $1.4 billion deal, creating the biggest newspaper owner in the United States.

Earlier this year, Gannett fended off MNG’s efforts to put its nominees on its board, after it rejected the latter’s $1.36 billion hostile takeover bid. Buying Gannett would have brought about 100 more newspapers, including the Detroit Free Press, into MNG’s fold.

MNG has a 4.2% stake in Gannet as of May 20, according to a regulatory filing.

MNG, which is controlled by secretive hedge fund Alden Global Capital LLC, is one of the largest newspaper holding companies in the United States and owns more than 200 publications.

New Media is run by Fortress Investment Group, which is owned by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T), and has built the largest chain of local U.S. papers, including 156 dailies from the Austin American-Statesman to the Register-Guard in Eugene, Oregon.

Reporting by Neha Malara and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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