Gannett Co. said Tuesday that, through separate transactions with joint owners Tribune Co. and McClatchy Co., it has acquired full ownership of the retail marketing and database services provider ShopLocal LLC.
The McLean, Va.-based newspaper publishing concern didn't disclose terms of its purchase either of Tribune's 42.5 percent stake in the venture, or of McClatchy's 15 percent.
The two companies remain partners with Gannett in other ventures, including joint holdings in operations such as CareerBuilder, Classified Ventures and Topix.net. Gannett noted that it and closely held Tribune Co. jointly own a network of local entertainment websites known as Metromix.
In a statement to employees, a Tribune official said the company "sold our interest to Gannett simply because we no longer viewed ShopLocal as a longterm strategic asset and felt that now was a good time to monetize our investment." The official added that the company wants "to be more engaged in developing new products in the interactive space that we alone manage and from which we can reap a larger share of the profits."
Tribune, a media holding company based in Chicago, saddled itself with a heavy burden of debt late last year, when it went private through a leveraged buyout engineered by real estate magnate Sam Zell.
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