Auction of Inquirer parent set for May 27

Posted: May 18, 2014

The auction for control of The Inquirer's parent company has been scheduled for May 27, according to an attorney for one of the competing groups of owners.

After weeks of negotiations, both sides have agreed to nearly all terms, lawyer Richard A. Sprague said Friday.

Sprague represents owners Lewis Katz and H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest. The other group is led by George E. Norcross III. The men are among the five partners who own Interstate General Media Holdings L.L.C., the parent company of The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, three websites, and a printing plant.

Sprague said the auction would be held at the Philadelphia offices of the Dechert law firm, whose attorney, Robert Heim, leads the Norcross legal team.

The only unresolved issue is who will be allowed to watch the bidding, Sprague said.

In a statement Friday, Norcross spokesman Dan Fee said the remaining dispute "is over whether the auction will be open to the media. Mr. Norcross believes it should be."

Sprague declined to comment on Katz and Lenfest's preference for media access to the auction. He also declined to discuss the tentative mechanics of the bidding.

Delaware Court of Chancery Vice Chancellor Donald F. Parsons decided on April 25 that the auction should be limited to the current owners, as Norcross had requested. Katz and Lenfest had sought a public auction open to any bidders.


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