Blue Harbour Pushes For Asset Sales At Hedge Fund-Owned Tribune

Feb 24 2014 | 11:41am ET

Activist hedge fund Blue Harbour Group has a "friendly" request for its fellow hedge funds that control the Tribune Co.: Sell off its real-estate holdings and share of the electromagnetic spectrum, please.

Blue Harbour founder Clifton Robbins announced a 2.5% stake at the annual meeting of fund of hedge funds EnTrust Capital earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reports. And he said he has urged the company's leadership, including chairman Bruce Karsh, head of Oaktree Capital Management, to consider selling off additional assets to boost shareholder value.

Tribune is already moving towards a spin-off of its newspaper business, including the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times. The company emerged from bankruptcy in 2012, leaving it in the hands of a group of creditors led by Oaktree, Angelo Gordon & Co. and JPMorgan Chase.

But Robbins does not plan a rough-and-tumble fight with Oaktree and Angelo Gordon. He pronounced his interest an amicable one and lavished praise on both Karsh and Tribune CEO Peter Liguori, and said Tribune was his best investment idea of the year.

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