The owner of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and nine other daily newspapers in Virginia on Friday rejected a prospective buyer’s attempt to nominate three new board members next year, citing procedural flaws in its filing.
Davenport, Iowa-based Lee Enterprises said New York hedge fund Alden Global Capital’s mistakes included making the nominations through a third-party affiliate that did not own Lee shares. “Alden failed to meet the most basic and most important requirement of our director nomination procedure,” the company said in a news release.
Lee also noted that the deadline for 2022 board nominations has since passed, so Alden cannot try again. A representative for Alden did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The rejection marks another setback for Alden, which is looking to make Lee the latest in a series of acquisitions intended to consolidate the newspaper industry.
Alden appeared hopeful for a speedy takeover after making its $141 million, or $24 per share, offer for Lee on Nov. 22. It noted that figure represented about a 30% premium over the previous day’s market close, and said that, with Lee’s cooperation, it could have things wrapped up in “approximately four weeks.”
Shares in Lee closed at $25.30, up $1.29 or 5.37%, on Friday.