HELENA — Lee Enterprises, the owner of several Montana newspapers, has rejected a bid by Alden Global Capital, LLC, a hedge fund, to purchase the company. Lee is the parent company of the Montana newspapers the Helena Independent Record, the Missoulian, the Billings Gazette, the Montana Standard and the Ravalli Republic.
Alden was offering $24 a share and already owned 6% of the issued and outstanding common stock of Lee at the time. The board of Lee Enterprises formally rejected the offer Thursday.
Lee Board Chairman Mary Junck said in a press release, “The Alden proposal grossly undervalues Lee and fails to recognize the strength of our business today, as the fastest-growing digital subscription platform in local media, and our compelling future prospects. We remain confident in our ability to create significant value as an independent company.”
Lee Enterprises is a public traded company that has 75 daily newspaper outlets across the nation.
Alden currently owns around 200 publications, making them the second-largest newspaper publisher in the United States. However, the hedge fund has earned a reputation of slashing costs, often through layoffs, among journalists formerly employed at those publications.