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Philadelphia Inquirer's owners to exit the newspaper company

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January 4
9:06 AM 2014

The Philadelphia Inquirer is being pushed back to the auction block by owners at odds over management of the newspaper operation and how to break the impasse at the top of the company.

According to Wall Street Journal, New Jersey political power broker George Norcross III and ally Joseph Buckelew have turned to a Delaware court, saying they are countering a move by minority owner Lewis Katz. Norcross and Buckelew owns 50% of Interstate General Media, which owns the Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and the associated digital news operation.

Parking lot and sports mogul Katz, along with another owner H.F. Gerry Lenfest, wants to put the newspaper company up for public auction. This would allow any qualified bidder to bid for the Inquirer, the report said.

Norcross wants the news company auctioned off among the current ownership group, a collection of wealthy and powerful businessmen. Norcross said that Katz's proposed public auction would invite hedge funds to load up the Inquirer with debt and doom it to return to bankruptcy, the report stated.

The Inquire ended its last stint in Chapter 11 in 2010. It was purchased by the current owners from hedge funds that salvaged it from bankruptcy for $55 million in 2012. 

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