NEW YORK — A bankruptcy auction to decide the fate of Philadelphia’s two major daily newspapers ended yesterday with a group of creditors taking ownership for $139 million.
Publisher Brian Tierney won’t fight confirmation for ownership of Philadelphia Newspapers by creditors whose bid proved to be too much for a group of local investors backed by local philanthropists.
The lenders’ winning bid will allow them to try to salvage some of their $318 million investment in the company, which was bought by a group including Tierney and home builder Bruce Toll in 2006 for $515 million.
Tierney said the bidding at a New York City law office moved at an “electrifying’’ pace, in $5 million and $10 million increments, at the end of an auction that began around 3:45 a.m.
“It went for nine times last year’s profit,’’ Tierney said.
Tierney said the bidding by the local investment group, led by Revlon’s chairman, Ronald Perelman, and his father had reached $129 million, but it was clear the creditors would just go higher if they did.