January 25, 2007 / 9:14 PM / 12 years ago

Courtside to buy American Community Newspapers

(Reuters) - Courtside Acquisition Corp. said it agreed to acquire American Community Newspapers LLC (ACN), which owns 73 publications in the Minneapolis, Dallas-Fort Worth and suburban Washington DC areas, for $165 million.

Courtside, a specified purpose acquisition company, said it would pay up to $15 million more if the newspaper group’s cash flow for 2008 ranges from $19 million to $21 million or above.

In addition, Courtside said if its stock price exceeds $8.50 before July 7, 2009, American Community will receive an extra $10 million.

ACN, which owns 60 weekly suburban newspapers, three daily newspapers and 10 niche publications, reported revenue of about $53.5 million for 2006, it said.

ACN is privately held by Spire CapitalPartners, Wachovia Capital Partners and members of ACN’s senior management.

Gene Carr, chief executive of ACN, will be CEO of the new company, and Courtside will be renamed American Community Newspapers Inc., Courtside said. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Courtside — formed in March 2005 to operate in the entertainment, media and communications fields — closed down 1 cent at $5.46 on the American Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Tenzin Pema and Nitya Rao in Bangalore

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