Lee Enterprises on Friday struck by at Alden Global Capital.
The company rejected Alden Global Capital’s attempt to nominate members of the Lee board, calling it a “hasty and convoluted attempt to work around our simple and common procedure.”
Lee said in a press release that Alden tried to circumvent a process that hundreds of investors have properly fulfilled. “Alden’s failure is entirely of its own making,” the release stated. “Alden is not entitled to invent its own process for its convenience.”
Consequently, Alden can’t nominate candidates for election to the board at Lee’s 2022 annual meeting. Lee said it will not recognize Alden’s nominations, or any proxies submitted, or votes cast, for the election of Alden’s candidates.
Last month, Alden made an unsolicited bid to acquire Lee Enterprises — which owns 75 daily newspapers and over 350 weekly and specialty publications serving 77 markets in 26 states — for $24.00 per share in cash, or about $141 million.
The per-share offer was a 30% premium over the stock price when the offer was made. Lee surged on the news, and was trading on Friday midday at close to $26.
Lee said it will announce the date of the 2022 Annual Meeting “in due course.” It said there is no need for Lee shareholders to take any action at this time.
Lee’s markets include St. Louis; Buffalo, New York; Omaha, Nebraska; Richmond, Virginia; Lincoln, Nebraska; Madison, Wisconsin; Tucson, Arizona; and Davenport, Iowa, where it’s based.