Following pressure from Democrat politicians including state Controller Steve Westly, the company backing a newspaper Guild bid to buy 12 Knight Ridder newspapers will gain access to detailed financial information about those papers, the Mercury News is reporting today. McClatchy Co., which is in contract to buy the Knight Ridder chain of 32 daily papers for $4.5 billion, is selling 12 of them, including all of KR’s papers in Northern California, in the hopes of raising $1.4 billion to pay down the debt from the sale. Yucaipa Companies, the investment banking firm controlled by billionaire Ron Burkle (pictured), wants to review information about the 12 papers in order to make an informed bid. McClatchy has agreed to allow Yucaipa to see the financial information about the papers “as they come to market,” according to union president Linda Foley, which suggests that McClatchy may be selling the papers in groups or in stages. Burkle, who made billions in leveraged buyouts of supermarket chains, is a Democrat Party fundraiser and the board of his Yucaipa Companies includes Bill Clinton and Jesse Jackson. SF Examiner columnist P.J. Corkery reported March 8 that money from the United Arab Emirates will help finance Yucaipa’s bid for KR’s newspapers.
Guild will get a look at KR's financials
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