CHICAGO (December 21, 2007) — McDermott Will & Emery LLP client Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) announced that its going private transaction through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) has closed. The Tribune Company is now privately held, with an ESOP holding all of Tribune's common stock and Sam Zell holding a subordinated note and a warrant entitling him to acquire 40 percent of Tribune's common stock. Mr. Zell assumed the roles of chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the Tribune Company.
McDermott assisted in structuring the transaction and advised the Tribune Company on all ESOP and tax aspects of the transaction. The Firm also represented Mr. Zell in connection with the tax aspects of the transaction. McDermott's ESOP team was led by partners William Merten and Paul Compernolle. McDermott's tax team was led by Blake Rubin and Andrea Whiteway.
The Tribune Company is one of the country's top media companies, operating businesses in publishing, interactive and broadcasting. It reaches more than 80 percent of U.S. households and is the only media organization with newspapers, television stations and websites in the nation's top three markets. In publishing, Tribune's has nine metro seven-day newspapers and the broadcasting group operates 23 television stations. For more information visit www.tribune.com.
McDermott Will & Emery lawyers in our ESOP Practice are some of the most experienced in the field and advise clients on all aspects of leveraged ESOP transactions including their use in acquisitions, management buyouts, equity buyouts, going-private transactions, business succession, and legislative and litigation matters.
McDermott's ESOP Practice is a part of the Firm's M&A Practice Group, which represents a wide spectrum of publicly and privately held businesses around the world from Global 50 companies to venture backed start ups, as well as private equity funds and investment banks. McDermott's M&A Practice Group was recently ranked among the Top 10 "power players" in the corporate transaction market.
McDermott has one of the largest and most comprehensive law firm tax practices in the world, advising our clients on all tax-related areas, including corporate, employee benefits, private clients, state and local taxation, and international matters. McDermott's depth of experience and sophisticated resources enable the Firm to serve every tax need of its clients.