New York (HedgeCo.net) – Hedge fund manager Thane Ritchie announced that he has been wrongly blocked from meeting with The Chicago Newspaper Guild and developing a coalition offer to buy the Sun-Times Media Group. A Chicago Newspaper Guild representative stated that until today, the union had no idea of Ritchie’s interest, much less its desire to work with the Guild in devising a Private Equity/Union coalition bid.
“The American newspaper is not just another recession driven victim industry like autos or housing,” Ritchie said, “its ink is the lifeblood of our political system and democracy, as our Founding Fathers emphasized by enshrining only this commercial endeavor by name in our Constitution.”
Despite requests to set up such a meeting, Ritchie was told that it was against Federal labor laws for a potential bidder to have a conversation with the Guild, which represents many of those employed at Chicago’s #2 daily and associated sister publications, according to Steve Denari of Third Millennium Group strategic consultants, Ritchie’s point man looking at the investment.
When Ritchie heard of this blockage, he became personally involved and retained labor experts to review it. “This is a travesty — why shouldn’t forward looking private equity sources be able to form a coalition offer with a union, which represents the largest set of stakeholders here? The only bidder reportedly has made it clear that not only do they refuse to negotiate with the Guild, but that they would actually like to withdraw their bid unless the Guild gives in on everything.”
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