The stock was briefly halted just before 11 a.m. ET after spiking roughly 9 percent. Shares resumed trading roughly 12 percent up.
The company behind The Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News and The Baltimore Sun is fielding offers from private equity firm Apollo Global Management, media peer Gannett and now capital-rich SoftBank, Axios reported, citing an anonymous source.
The New York Post previously reported that Apollo might be interested in Tronc, but CNBC did not independently confirm that report.
A SoftBank buyout would stand as a notable endorsement for the newspaper industry, adding a media company to the Japanese investment machine's impressive portfolio alongside successful startups such as Uber, WeWork and Arm.
SoftBank and Tronc did not immediately return requests for comment.
Read the full Axios report here.