Following MNG or Digital First’s nomination of a controlling number of candidates to its board of directors, Gannett issued a letter to shareholders today in connection with its upcoming 2019 annual meeting.
The letter also outlines Gannett’s vision for digital sustainability.
Gannett announced plans to build a best-in-class digital marketing organization by leveraging its nationwide scale to deepen relationships with consumers and businesses. It wants to create consumer experiences and marketing and advertising solutions that accelerate organic digital revenue growth.
The company is also pursuing acquisitions and align costs across its legacy print business.
The shareholder letter outlined Gannett’s digital gains in 2018 and acquisitions like ReachLocal, SweetIQ and WordStream as representations of its digital and strategic successes of late.
The letter urges shareholders to reelect those members who have decided to serve Gannett’s board another term, disregarding those submitted by Digital First.
In February, Digital First nominated a controlling number of potential directors, in a bid to over take the company’s board.
Gannett’s statement comes three months after Digital First submitted an unsolicited proposal to acquire Gannett and several weeks after it announced it had a letter from Oaktree Capital Management stating it was “highly confident” Digital First could obtain the $1.725 billion, or more, to buy Gannett.
Gannett addressed the Oaktree Capital Management news, stating: “The letter that MNG has touted from a distressed debt fund, Oaktree Strategic Credit, which was obtained more than two months after MNG submitted its unsolicited proposal, does not represent a contractual commitment or even a best efforts obligation on behalf of Oaktree to provide or arrange financing for MNG's transaction, and is highly conditional.
"In fact, Oaktree itself does not even commit to participating in this hypothetical financing.”