Tribune deal looks likely

That's according to the WSJ's M&A reporter, Dennis Berman, who concludes that the chances of the Sam Zell deal falling through aren't all that great. For months, the vague concerns on Wall Street have been reflected by a stock that's well under the $34 price that stockholders were promised. When the spread between purchase price and trading price is so wide, it often spells trouble (a Lehman Bros. analyst put the odds of the deal happening at only 50-50). But those close to Zell are convinced that it will happen. Berman says the biggest worry is that the lending banks - JP Morgan, Merrill, Citigroup and Bank of America - would try to bail because of their credit crunch woes, but that would risk alienating Zell for future financings and they donít want to do that. Mark Oct. 24 on your calendars - that's when Tribune earnings will be reported and we'll get a better idea of whether the company is on track to meet the various financial thresholds required for the deal to pencil out.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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