Local Investor To Buy, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News and Website for $55 million
A group of local investors agreed on Monday to buy Philadelphia Media Network Inc., the parent company of The Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com, for $55 million with an additional $10 million in working capital for operations. The deal represents the fourth ownership change for the media properties in less than six years.
Led by businessman Lewis Katz, 70, and insurance executive and Democratic leader George E. Norcross III, 56, the group has agreed to buy PMN from a collection of hedge funds and other financial firms that have owned the daily newspapers and their related website since they emerged from bankruptcy in October 2010.
Besides Katz and Norcross, the new owners include philanthropist H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, 81, Holtec International Corp. chief executive officer Krishna P. “Kris” Singh, 64, and Liberty Property Trust CEO William P. Hankowsky, 61, and Joseph Buckelew, chairman of Conner Strong Buckelew, an insurance brokerage based in South Jersey.
Katz and Norcross will serve as managing partners of Interstate General Media L.L.C., the new parent company; Lenfest will serve as chairman of the board. The enterprise will still do business as Philadelphia Media Network.
The new owners said they intend to retain PMN’s current management team, led by CEO Gregory J. Osberg.