Tribune Publishing confirms Aug. 4 spinoff date

Tribune Publishing confirms Aug. 4 spinoff date
The Los Angeles Times building in downtown Los Angeles. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Tribune Publishing will spin off from Tribune Co. on Aug. 4, the new publishing company confirmed Tuesday.
Tribune Publishing has applied to have its common stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "TPUB" and expects to begin regular trading on Aug. 5. 

The Tribune Co. board finalized the distribution details on Monday, which will separate the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and six other daily newspapers into a stand-alone, publicly-traded publishing company.  Tribune Co. will continue to hold 1.5 percent of the outstanding shares of Tribune Publishing stock after the spinoff.

Tribune Publishing plans to issue 25.4 million shares of common stock, according to a filing last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Tribune Co. stakeholders will receive a tax-free distribution of shares in the new company, getting a quarter of a share of TPUB for every share of Tribune Co. stock owned.
The Aug. 4 spinoff date was included in a lender presentation last month, but had not previously been confirmed by the company. Tribune Publishing is seeking to raise $350 million in conjunction with its spinoff from Tribune Co.

The spinoff was announced last summer as a way to offload the publishing assets while avoiding the large capital gains taxes associated with an outright sale. Chicago-based Tribune Co. is retaining its higher-growth broadcasting and entertainment assets, as well as real estate holdings and equity investments.  
In an amendment filed with the SEC last week, Tribune Publishing said that subsequent to the closing date, the company has the capacity to add to the $350 million senior term loan by up to $100 million, subject to certain conditions.

The debt includes a $275 million cash dividend Tribune Publishing will pay to Tribune Co. immediately prior to the spinoff.


In related news, Tribune Co. announced Tuesday it has elected Laura R. Walker to its board for a three-year term.

Walker, who is president and chief executive officer of New York Public Radio, replaces Eddy Hartenstein, who is becoming non-executive chairman of Tribune Publishing Company's board following the expected Aug. 4 spinoff from Tribune Company.

Craig Jacobson was also re-elected to the seven-member board for a three-year term during a stockholders meeting Monday in Los Angeles. Additionally, stockholders voted to change the name of Tribune Co. to Tribune Media Co.

Walker, who began her career as a journalist and producer at National Public Radio, oversees eight radio stations including WNYC and WQXR, New York City’s classical music station. Previously she worked at Carnegie Hall and Sesame Workshop.

In addition to Tribune Co., Walker sits on several boards including Saint Ann's School, the Women's Forum and the Yale Center for Customer Insights.