Reevemark, the strategic advisory firm launched last year by Sard Verbinnen & Co. veterans, is backing the takeover bid for Gannett, publisher of USA Today.
Digital First Media, which owns and operates over 200 newspapers, including the Denver Post, Boston Herald and Los Angeles Daily News, has already acquired a 7.5 percent stake in Gannett.
Also known as MNG Enterprises, DFM proposes to buy Gannett for $12 per share, a price that represents a 23 percent premium over the Jan. 11 closing price of $9.75.
In a letter from DFM to Gannett’s board, the company claims that Gannett “has not demonstrated that it’s capable of effectively running this enterprise as a public company.”
It notes that “Gannett has lost 41 percent of its value since it debuted as a public company two and a half years ago, significantly underperforming its peer group and indices.”
DFM wants Gannett to explore options such as discussing a strategic combination, hiring an investment banker to mull strategic alternatives, putting a moratorium on digital acquisitions and committing to a “feasible, strategic and financial path before hiring a new CEO” to replace the exiting Robert Dickey.
Gannett has confirmed receiving the DFM bid and plans to carefully review it.
It is using Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher’s Ed Trissel, Nick Lamplough and Tim Ragones for representation.
DFM relies on Reevemark’s Paul Caminiti, Hugh Burns and Renee Soto.