Tronc shares plunge after Gannett ends takeover talks

Gannett ends talks to buy Tronc

Shares of Tronc plunged Tuesday after Gannett announced it has ended talks to take over the troubled media company.

Tronc shares dipped as low as $8.76 a share, a decline of about 27 percent from Monday's closing price. The stock ended the day 12 percent lower after Gannett's announcement. Gannett shares fell 2 percent on the day.

Tronc said it was informed early Tuesday of Gannett's decision to "abruptly" terminate its discussion with the company.

"It is unfortunate that Gannett's lenders made their decision to terminate their role in the transaction without the benefit of Tronc's third quarter financials or any future projections," Tronc said in a statement. "Tronc remained a constructive partner to Gannett as it sought to complete its financing for the agreed upon purchase price, however, Gannett was unable to do so and terminated discussions."

Tronc said it continues to make progress implementing its plan to "leverage technology" and monetize its content. It added it will take time but the company remains on track.

Before Gannett's withdrawal announcement, reports said the USA Today owner was still figuring out details regarding the transaction with Tronc. In April, Gannett made an $12.25 per share offer for Tronc, formerly Tribune Publishing, valuing the owner of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times at about $815 million, according to Reuters. It raised the offer in May to $15 per share.

With Tuesday's declines, Tronc shares have gained 14 percent year to date, while Gannett's stock has fallen more than 53 percent during the same period.

TRNC 2016 Chart

—Reuters contributed to this report.

Correction: This story was revised to delete an incorrect reference to when Tronc issued its statement.