Chicago real estate magnate Sam Zell won a last-minute bidding war to buy the Tribune Compay with a $34-a-share offer, reports the Chicago Tribune. Zell will take the media conglomerate private in a deal that includes an employee stock ownership plan. The Cubs will be sold separately.
The deal features a low break-up penalty, which means L.A. billionaires Ron Burkle and Eli Broad, who lost out in feverish maneuvering over the weekend, could come back with a fresh offer. It puts Zell, a gleeful risk-taker, in charge of a famously buttoned-down company facing daunting prospects, including $7 billion in new debt.