Freedom Communications to be acquired by 2100 Trust LLC
IRVINE, CA - June 11, 2012 - Freedom Communications Holdings, Inc. announced today that it has agreed to be acquired by 2100 Trust, LLC in a merger with a subsidiary of 2100 Trust.
Dirks, Van Essen & Murray, a newspaper merger and acquisition firm in Santa Fe, New Mexico, represented 2100 Trust in the transaction.
At the time the transaction closes, Freedom's businesses will consist of its flagship Orange County Register, the Barstow (CA) Desert Dispatch, Colorado Springs (CO) Gazette, the Marysville (CA) Appeal-Democrat, the Porterville (CA) Record, the Victorville (CA) Daily Press, the Yuma (AZ) Sun, and all associated non-daily publications along with specialty publications and digital properties. The Company had previously announced sales of its other newspaper assets and broadcast properties, which have closed or are expected to close within the next few weeks.
It is expected that the transaction, the value of which was not disclosed, will be completed in about 30 days. All current Freedom employees at the operating locations will transition to the new ownership, said Mitchell Stern, chief executive officer.
“While providing the value that our shareholders have sought, this transaction also ensures Freedom’s communities that our newspapers serve will continue to receive the outstanding service that has been our hallmark,” Stern said. “Our employees will be able to continue the community journalism at which they so excel.”
“The new owners have a long-standing interest in community journalism and understand the critical role that newspapers, despite all the changes of recent years, continue to play in providing the information that people need and can’t find anywhere else,” said Mark McEachen, Freedom’s executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer.
R. C. Hoiles founded Freedom after acquiring what was then the Santa Ana Register in 1935. The company eventually grew to be one of the largest media companies in the country with 100 daily and weekly newspapers, numerous news websites and specialty publications and eight broadcast stations.
“We couldn't be more pleased with the opportunity to lead the hard-working and talented employees of Freedom Communications in serving these communities. We believe that newspapers are essential to the fabric of our lives and are excited to own and grow these unique institutions,” said Aaron Kushner, 2100 Trust's Chief Executive Officer.
About Freedom Communications
Freedom Communications Holdings, Inc., headquartered in Irvine, CA, is a national privately owned information and entertainment company of print publications and interactive businesses. The Company’s print portfolio includes approximately 100 publications, including 20 daily newspapers, weekly newspapers, plus ancillary magazines and other specialty publications. The Company’s news, information and entertainment websites and mobile applications complement its print properties. For more information, visit www.freedom.com.
About 2100 Trust, LLC
2100 Trust, LLC is a privately held company that believes strongly in the future of journalism and the newspaper industry. The company is dedicated to enhancing and enriching the integral relationship that its newspapers have with their local communities through a dedication to rich content and quality reporting.