Shareholders, in separate votes, approved the plan for GateHouse Media parent New Media Investment Group Inc. to buy Gannett Co Inc. in a $1.2 billion stock and cash deal, that will create a chain of more than 250 daily newspapers, Yahoo Finance reports. The transaction affects 19 Ohio newspapers and is expected to close Nov. 19.
GateHouse management has promised to find a way to cut spending by $300 million, which will be necessary for paying off a new $1.8 billion loan to New Media from PE firm Apollo Global Management, Gannett’s flagship paper USA Today reports.
GateHouse owns 10 Ohio newspapers — the Columbus Dispatch, the Akron Beacon Journal, the Canton Repository, the Alliance Review, Ashland Times-Gazette, Cambridge Daily Jeffersonian, Kent Record-Courier, Massillon Independent, New Philadelphia Times-Reporter and Wooster Daily Record.
Gannett’s nine Ohio papers include the Cincinnati Enquirer, Chillicothe Gazette, Coshocton Tribune, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, Mansfield News-Journal, Marion Star, Newark Advocate, Port Clinton News Herald and Zanesville Times Recorder.
The combined company will be called Gannett and its CEO, Paul Bascobert, will head the business.
New Media shareholders will own 50.5 percent of the new company, while Gannett’s will hold 49.5 percent. The combined company will be based in McLean, Virginia, outside Washington, D.C.