Martin's proposed schedule threatens Tribune's request for waivers by early November. The Zell Deal will be more expensive to Zell and Tribune if the transaction is not completed by Dec. 31. Chicago Tribune:
The merger includes a clause granting shareholders an 8 percent "ticking fee" in the event the deal isn't done by the end of this year. A delay would put Tribune on the hook to shareholders for $871,884 a day, or $318 million a year, an obligation that would make financing the deal more expensive.* From the Los Angeles Times:
Martin has proposed an ambitious timetable for the FCC to vote on a package of media ownership rule changes by Dec. 18. Among the changes he is expected to propose is the elimination of the ban on owning a newspaper and a TV station in the same market. But some FCC commissioners, lawmakers and public interest advocates criticize the vote as coming too soon.(end of post)
A Dec. 18 vote could come too late for Tribune, which has long pushed for lifting the cross-ownership ban. The company needs 20 days to complete the transaction after FCC approval.
To go private by the end of the year in a deal led by real estate mogul Sam Zell, the company needs the FCC by mid-November either to grant temporary waivers or to lift the cross-ownership ban, said Shaun Sheehan, Tribune's Washington vice president.