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Rupert Murdoch Tribune San Diego

Right-wing billionaire Koch brothers 'may bid for LA Times, Chicago Trib'

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By Noel Young, Correspondent

March 14, 2013 | 3 min read

Controversial billionaires the Koch brothers, known for their support of Republican candidates and the Tea Party, are said to be considering a bid for the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.

The billionaire Koch brothers

David and Charles Koch, who own Koch Industries, America's second-largest privately held company, have expressed interest in the Tribune Co. newspapers, says the Hollywood Reporter.

Rupert Murdoch's new print company,with the Wall Street Journal at its centre and a reported $2.6 billion bankroll, is also said to be interested. So a bidding war could be ahead .

The Chicago-based newspaper group emerged from bankruptcy on Dec. 31 . Investment firms Evercore and JPMorgan Chase have been hired as offers have come in for its print properties.

The Kochs' interest may lie in the clout they could gain through the Times' editorial pages, said some observers. They could bid on their own or combine with right-winger Doug Manchester, the real estate magnate who bought the San Diego Union-Tribune last November.

Missy Cohlmia, a spokeswoman for the Koch Companies, told The Hollywood Reporter: "As an entrepreneurial company with 60,000 employees around the world, we are constantly exploring profitable opportunities in many industries and sectors.

"So, it is natural that our name would come up in connection with this rumor.

"We respect the independence of the journalistic institutions referenced in today’s news stories, but it is our long-standing policy not to comment on deals or rumors of deals we may or may not be exploring. "

Tribune's newspaper assets, make up $623 million of the company's $7 billion holdings.

Tribune Co. was more than four years in bankruptcy after being purchased by Sam Zell. TV industry veteran Peter Liguori, formerly of Fox Entertainment and News Corp.,recently became its CEO.

Rupert Murdoch Tribune San Diego

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