By David Sell (The Inquirer) – Inquirer co-owners Lewis Katz and H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest won control of newspaper and its parent company Tuesday after a bidding war with other owners in a private auction at a Philadelphia law firm.
Katz and Lenfest bid $88 million, a figure that includes the assigned value of all the shares of the company plus existing debt recently pegged at about $15.3 million.
In doing so, they outbid George E. Norcross III, Joseph Buckelew and William Hankowsky, the other owners with whom they formed Interstate General Media Holdings, L.L.C., in 2012.
This marks another ownership change for the Philadelphia newspapers, which form the region’s most prominent media organization and employ about 1,800 people. The company was bought and sold twice in 2006, went through a bankruptcy and has had two groups of local owners, in between ownership by a group of hedge funds.