Bloomberg reporter Hui-youg Yu takes an in-depth look at how billionaire Ron Burkle (pictured) does business and suggests he may be trying to do the same thing in newspapers that he did in supermarkets: “invest in an out-of-favor industry that’s threatened by the Internet and is consolidating, and get cost- saving concessions from the unions,” Yu writes “Burkle became a billionaire in the 1990s by buying into the U.S. grocery store business. As backers of online grocery stores discovered then, the Web didn’t put traditional providers out of business.” In addition to getting concessions from unions, Burkle will also benefit from federal tax credits due to the nature of his proposed buyout. Burkle has bid for 12 Knight Ridder papers including all of the company’s publications in the Bay Area including the San Jose Mercury News, Palo Alto Daily News group and Contra Costa Times. The Bloomberg story doesn’t mention allegations made by the SF Examiner that Burkle is using money from the United Arab Emirates to finance his bid for the KR papers. [Rock River (Ill.) Times: UAE eyes Knight Ridder chain] [Chronicle takes a shot at Burkle]

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