Magazine article Editor & Publisher

New Aegis for the 'Defender'

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

New Aegis for the 'Defender'

Article excerpt

After five years of false starts, the historic black daily Chicago Defender and three other Sengstacke Enterprises papers could change hands as early as the end of June in an $8.5-million deal.

Real Times Inc., a group led by Tom Picou, a former Defender editor and Sengstacke Enterprises president, won tentative approval Wednesday from Cook County (Ill.) Circuit Court Judge Bernetta Bush for its offer for 91% of company stock. Real Times would pay $3 million in cash at closing, another $3 million in a promissory note paid off at a 12% interest rate over five years, plus a final payment of at least $2.5 million. Robert Sengstacke, grandnephew of famed founder Robert Abbott, would retain his 9% stake.

"The deal could close within 60 days, including 30 days of due diligence," Picou said. He is a nephew by marriage of longtime company head John H. Sengstacke, who died in 1997 and left 70% of company stock in a trust that essentially forced a sale by triggering a federal estate tax that has grown over the years to nearly $4 million. …

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