updated - June 2, 2020 Tuesday EDT
The Tribune Publishing Co. denied the media speculation in a statement to its employees that the company is being sold and the spinoff of the Los Angeles Times, according to a report from the Chicago Tribune.
The company said in the statement that it is "not engaged in any discussions or a process to sell the company."
The Los Angeles Times adds that the speculation started when Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of News Corp., said in his Twitter account that he has "strong word" that Tribune Publishing will be sold to a big firm in Wall Street.
He also tweeted that the Los Angeles Times would be spun off to a local group and philanthropist Eli Broad.
The Los Angeles Times adds that Tribune Publishing said in a statement that, though it is not the company's policy to comment on rumors, "given the source of this speculation and the fact that it has received considerable public attention, the company believes a statement to employees is warranted."
"As our board of directors noted earlier this fall, and as we articulated in our November earnings call, Tribune Publishing remains committed to its strategy and transformation plan," Tribune Publishing said.
The Chicago Tribune adds that a report from media analyst Ken Doctor suggested that the big Wall Street firm being mentioned in Murdoch's tweet may be Apollo Global Management.
Doctor wrote that Apollo approached Tribune to explore an acquisition about a month ago.
The Chicago Tribune adds that Doctor said the Apollo acquisition strategy would involve the sale of the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune to Broad.
Doctor's sources, though, said that the Tribune Publishing was "non-responsive" to Apollo's approach.
Broad has previously expressed interest in acquiring the Los Angeles Times, most recently was in 2013, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Tribune Publishing, though rejected Broad's offer, as sources said that the company was not interested in removing the number two market in the country to its portfolio.
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