As of late Sunday night, real estate mogul Sam Zell seemed tantalizingly close to cutting a deal for the Chicago-based parent of the LAT. But Tribune's board appears to be pushing for more than $33 a share - and perhaps more than $34 a share. That could be in response to the 11th hour Broad/Burkle bid that's valued at $34 a share. Zell is normally not the kind of guy who raises his bid, but it would be tough for him to walk away at this point. Indeed, the NYT is reporting tonight that Zell has raised his bid a touch, to nearly $34 a share. The Chicago Tribune reported Sunday night that the board was still meeting to consider the Zell proposal. Tribune could conceivably turn down both the Zell and Broad/Burkle offers in favor of its own self-help restructuring - what seemed like a probable course just a couple of weeks ago - but that approach has received only a lukewarm reaction on Wall Street. All I know is somebody is going to have one hell of a behind-the-scenes story when this is all over.
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