Chatham Asset Management announces plan to buy newspaper publisher McClatchy

Chatham was McClatchy's largest shareholder and debt holder.

 IN this Oct. 14, 2009 file photo, copies of the McClatchy Co. owned Miami Herald newspaper are shown in Miami.
IN this Oct. 14, 2009 file photo, copies of the McClatchy Co. owned Miami Herald newspaper are shown in Miami. –(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Hedge fund Chatham Asset Management said it plans to buy newspaper publisher McClatchy out of bankruptcy, ending 163 years of family control.

The hedge fund did not put a price on the deal. The agreement still needs the approval of a bankruptcy judge.

McClatchy is one of the largest newspaper companies in the U.S. It owns 30 papers including the Miami Herald, the Charlotte Observer and the Sacramento Bee. It filed for bankruptcy protection because of a heavy debt load stemming from its $4.5 billion purchase of the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain in 2006, just as the newspaper industry went into steep decline.

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Chatham was McClatchy’s largest shareholder and debt holder. It beat out a bid from Alden Global Capital, another hedge fund that has taken a leading role in the U.S. newspaper business.

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