Billionaire owner of Los Angeles Times denies exploring sale of company
Patrick Soon-Shiong, the owner of The Los Angeles Times, is denying reports that said he was exploring selling the company.
The denial on Friday came after The Wall Street Journal reported that the billionaire investor was exploring selling the company just three years after he bought the Times along with the San Diego Union- Tribune and other weeklies from Tribune Publishing Company in 2018 for $500 million.
“WSJ article inaccurate. We are committed to the @LATimes,” Soon-Shiong tweeted. “Newspapers are important to the community. Support the @LATimes and @sdut.”
— Dr. Pat Soon-Shiong (@DrPatSoonShiong) February 19, 2021
Citing people familiar with the matter, the newspaper reported that Soon-Shiong was considering an outright sale of the company, bringing in an additional investor or transferring management of the properties to another media group.
The Journal also reported that the billionaire investor considered selling or transferring management of the San Diego Tribune to another company, potentially MediaNews Group, which is owned by hedge fund Alden Global Capital.
Alden announced last week that it is acquiring Tribune Publishing in a deal worth $630 million.
Steve Severinghaus, a spokesperson for The Journal, told The Hill in a statement, “We are aware of Dr. Soon-Shiong’s tweet. We are confident in our reporting and will continue to follow this developing story.”
The news comes after Norman Pearlstine announced in December that he was stepping down from his role as executive editor of the newspaper to assume an advisory role.
A separate hiring firm is managing the process to find Pearlstine’s replacements.
Updated: 8:40 p.m.