Norcross and Katz said in Delaware Chancery Court last week that they were prepared to bid at least $77 million. That's far too rich for the Guild's blood.
"The $77 million figure is just not something anyone is willing to go near," Guild attorney Lisa Lori said outside the courtroom yesterday.
The newspapers and Philly.com were purchased for about $55 million two years ago, but Katz and Norcross are now seeking to force each other out. Norcross wants an English-style live auction limited to the current owners. Katz wants an open auction, but with sealed bids.
Judge Donald Parsons Jr. did not make a decision yesterday, but seemed to be losing patience with both factions. The ownership dispute has caused instability within the company, according to court testimony last week.
"Both sides say time is of the essence," Parsons said. "Anytime I try to get anything concrete out of either side, I don't get it."
Parsons did not provide a timetable for his ruling, but questioned whether anyone else is seriously interested in buying IGM. Last night, Guild president Howard Gensler and executive director Bill Ross said in an email statement that $77 million, which is about eight times this year's expected cash flow, is not a "fair-value bid."
"So at $77 million, we're out," they wrote. "At a more reasonable price - one that might allow the company to grow and thrive - we would hope to be back in."
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