Eli Broad and Ron Burkle have just made life a little more uncomfortable for the Tribune boys who seem inclined to accept Sam Zell's offer. You remember Broad and Burkle - the L.A. billionaires who made an early bid for Tribune that was turned down weeks ago. Well, the WSJ reports that the Los Angeles guys sent a letter to Tribune's board over the weekend, complaining that the company provided Zell with more financial information than they had access to - information, they say, that could have prompted them to offer Tribune a better deal. The implication is that they want another shot. With the company promising to make a decision by the end of the week, it's unlikely their protests will get anywhere. But heck, who knows? Here's a summation of the two proposals, courtesy of the Journal:
[Zell's $33 a share] offer would involve two steps, according to a person familiar with its structure. The first step, in which Mr. Zell would put up less than $300 million of his own money, would involve Tribune borrowing money and paying out about $17.50 a share to shareholders, this person said. Then, in a second step, after regulatory approval, the company would be taken private resulting in an organization would be majority owned by Tribune's employees, with Mr. Zell holding a minority stake.
Messrs. Broad and Burkle earlier made an offer for Tribune that proposed borrowing a large amount of money and paying out a dividend of $27 to shareholders, according to people familiar with their proposal. Their deal involved a $500 million equity contribution. The two men see their proposal as similar to Mr. Zell's but as offering more equity, the person familiar with their thinking said. They want an opportunity to make a better offer, this person said.