Tribune vote set for August 21


There's no indication when action may come on required regulatory approvals, but Tribune Company has set a special shareholders meeting for August 21st to vote on the deal to have Sam Zell and a new Employee Stock Ownership Plan finish buying out the public shareholders and take the company private. Shareholders of record on July 12th will be eligible to vote. The proxy is to be mailed out later this month. There is no known organized opposition, so it appears the vote will be a mere formality.

SmartMedia observation: Tribune's stock price has dropped a couple of bucks in recent weeks, so it appears traders are becoming concerned about whether the company will get the needed waivers of the newspaper/broadcast crossownership rule from the FCC – or, if so, when. The buyout of remaining shares for 35 bucks each can't take place without those waivers, since it would constitute a change of control of the company and void the existing waivers.