McClatchy Newspapers to Acquire Cowles Media Company

Posted on November 14, 1997

McClatchy Newspapers, Inc. and Cowles Media Company, announced an agreement for McClatchy to acquire Cowles, publisher of the Star Tribune in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, in a transaction valued at $1.4 billion, including the assumption of approximately $90 million in existing Cowles debt. The merger creates the eighth-largest newspaper company in the nation based on daily and Sunday circulation.

The Star Tribune is the leading newspaper in Minnesota with circulation of 387,000 daily and 673,000 on Sunday. It ranks as the 16th largest daily and the 12th largest Sunday newspaper in the country. The Star Tribune's strong name-brand recognition has enabled the company to leverage its core business into a powerful marketing information company. It has extended its market share throughout the Twin Cities region through the introduction of new products and services, including special interest publications, online services, voice services, non-subscriber products, direct mail and event sponsorships.

In addition to the Star Tribune, Cowles operates three other business units which McClatchy expects to sell as soon as possible, using the proceeds to reduce debt. The other business units are: Cowles Business Media, Inc., a publisher of specialized business magazines and information services; Cowles Enthusiast Media, Inc., a publisher of 27 special-interest consumer magazines and related books and products; and Cowles Creative Publishing, Inc., a specialty publisher, distributor and direct marketer of books, videos and interactive media for the home arts, home improvement and outdoor markets.