Cox Enterprises Plans to Sell Newspapers and Valpak
Press release from the issuing company
(August 14, 2008) Cox Enterprises, Inc. announced today that it intends to sell the Austin American-Statesman, its affiliated operations including Austin360.com, and all of Cox’s stand-alone community newspapers in North Carolina, Colorado and Texas. Cox also intends to sell Valpak, the nation’s leader in cooperative direct mail advertising.
Cox Enterprises will retain ownership of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Palm Beach Post, Dayton Daily News and their affiliated publications.
“This decision was made as part of an ongoing strategic review of our portfolio and enables us to maintain our strong and stable financial performance by further paying down debt,” said Jim Kennedy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cox Enterprises. “We will continue to own and operate industry-leading companies, invest in existing businesses and maintain a level of financial discipline that ensures we are well positioned for ongoing success.”
Approximately 80 percent of Cox Enterprises’ revenues now come from sources other than its traditional advertising-supported media companies (newspapers, television and radio). Moving forward, Cox will continue to strengthen its portfolio of businesses by making significant capital investments that improve their competitive positions. Recent examples include an investment to develop next-generation wireless and mobility services for Cox Communications, Inc. and investments in technology, global expansion and innovative products at Manheim, which is transforming the wholesale vehicle buying and selling experience.
“Newspaper businesses are an important part of Cox’s history, and we greatly value the contributions the employees of these companies have made to our company,” Kennedy added. “Local newspapers play a valuable role in the communities they serve, and we are confident that the publications we are selling and those we continue to operate will continue to provide timely, valuable and trustworthy news and information to their readers.”
Kennedy continued, “Since becoming a Cox company in 1991, Valpak has become an industry leader and a brand that consumers around the country know and trust. Its new state-of-the-art production facility will allow Valpak to offer advertisers even more effective and targeted tools to reach their customers.”
In addition to Valpak and the Austin American-Statesman (TX) and its related community publications, Cox intends to sell the following groups of stand-alone newspapers:
• North Carolina: The Daily Reflector (Greenville) and a number of surrounding community publications; the Rocky Mount Telegram, The Daily Advance (Elizabeth City) and Savings Source Direct, a direct mail media business.
• Texas: the Waco Tribune-Herald; the Longview News-Journal; The Marshall News Messenger; The Lufkin Daily News; and The Daily Sentinel (Nacogdoches).
• Colorado: The Daily Sentinel (Grand Junction) and The Nickel.
Citigroup has been retained to assist Cox Enterprises with the marketing of the newspapers, and Goldman Sachs has been retained to assist with the marketing of Valpak. The company and its advisors are preparing information in connection with the sale of these assets and expect to be in a position to share information with prospective buyers in September.
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