War raging between Gannett board, MNG amid hostile takeover bid

All out war is raging between the Gannett board and Alden Global-backed MNG Enterprises, which is trying to pull off a hostile $1.36 billion takeover bidof the USA Today publisher.

Both sides picked up new support for their causes Thursday as the proxy battle of newspaper titans enters its final two weeks before the May 16 shareholders showdown.

Institutional Shareholder Services, a proxy analysis firm, partially weighed in on the side of the Alden-MNG bid, urging Gannett shareholders to vote to put Steve Rossi, one of the Alden-backed candidates, on the Gannett board.

ISS said the $12-a-share offer “would provide an exit — at a premium price to historical valuations — from a company that has thus far been unable to realize profitable growth in its ongoing multiyear digital transformation.”

Gannett insists that all of the MNG-backed candidates face conflicts of interest: “Replacing any of Gannett’s directors with Mr. Rossi — or any of MNG’s nominees — would deprive the board of critical experience and expertise that are central to Gannett’s operations, digital transformation and value proposition and would jeopardize the value of shareholders’ investment.”

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