NEW YORK, July 15 An investor who offered $25
million to bail out Journal Register Co JRCO.PK said he is
can no longer guarantee his offer after the ailing U.S.
newspaper publisher failed to follow up.
"Although we met briefly ... I have had no substantive
discussions with either you, your investment banker, or the
lending institutions and their representatives," Richard
Barone, chairman of Ancora Capital, wrote to Journal Register
Chief Executive James Hall in a letter sent on Monday and filed
with the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission on Tuesday.
"There may be good reasons for the lack of communication.
However, during the past two months a number of alternative
investment opportunities have arisen, and I can no longer
guarantee the aforementioned investment in Journal Register,"
Ancora holds a little more than 5 percent of Journal
Barone first made his offer in May. He said he would invest
at least $25 million in the publisher in return for a
significant ownership stake.
Journal Register, which owns the New Haven Register in
Connecticut and nearly two-dozen other newspapers in several
other states, was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange
earlier this year and risks defaulting on its debt by July 23.
Like other newspaper companies, it has suffered from
declining advertising revenue brought on by a weak real estate
market as well as wider economic woes affecting many U.S.
The company had left Barone with the assumption that it
would respond to his offer within 30 days, he told Reuters.
"Should they want to talk about it, I'd be happy to do so
with the understanding that if my funds were still available, I
still may have an interest," he said. "It's been over 60 days
and I just thought this could go on and on, and I could miss
A Journal Register spokesman did not return a phone call
seeking comment. Its shares rose 3 cents to close at 16 cents
in over-the-counter trade. They had traded as high as $4.25 on
the New York Stock Exchange a year ago.
(Editing by Braden Reddall)