Press Herald sale delayed - again

The purgatory stay of the Portland Press Herald has been extended until "early next year," mainly because the financing hasn't come together yet for the purchasers, according to an article in today's Press Herald. The Blethens may be upset, because they had hoped to use the capital losses on the PPH sale to offset gains on real-estate sales. Except, as I wrote back on Christmas Eve, the real-estate deal in question may not be finalized either. So it's possible the tax situation will just happen in 2009, rather than in 2008.

Of course, as the markets continue to tumble and newspapers nationwide continue to lay off workers and otherwise founder, both the offer itself and the financing needed to back it may be harder and harder to stomach for the prospective buyers. And the delay may be harder and harder to handle for the suffering Blethens.

TC Munjoy, the pseudonymous blogger who has tormented the Blethens and their local management for a while now, has posited that the interest of the prospective buyers could be a bit of a charade, in which they hope to (as Munjoy suggests they should) wait for the Blethens to default, and then buy the largely worthless papers and their very valuable real estate at a fire-sale price.

My offer stands - $20 cash for the whole kit and caboodle.


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