Tribune Co. said Tuesday that it had completed the $175-million purchase of newspaper facilities owned by the Chandler family, further severing its ties to the founding clan of the Los Angeles Times and eliminating substantial rent payments.
The real estate includes the historic home of The Times in downtown Los Angeles. Other office and production facilities included in the deal are used by the Baltimore Sun, the Hartford Courant in Connecticut and Newsday in New York.
The properties were owned by the Chandlers and were leased to Tribune when the newspaper chain bought Times Mirror Co. in 2000 from the California family. Since Chicago real estate mogul Sam Zell took over Tribune in December, the new owners have been looking for ways to capitalize on property trades.
Tribune used proceeds from the sale of Tribune Studios in Hollywood last month and additional property in Stamford and Greenwich, Conn., to buy the properties from the Chandlers. The deal was a like-kind property exchange, which defers federal capital gains taxes.
“This tax-efficient transaction gives us complete control over some very strategic real estate assets in major markets around the country, particularly in downtown Los Angeles,” said Stephanie Pater, Tribune’s real estate director.
The deal enables the company to save $24 million in annual lease payments, she said.