This is a good thing, not because I think Taylor and Opperman would be bad owners. It establishes a floor for the Strib’s equity — Taylor told me last month they were offering $16.41 a share — and it shows the current owners believe enough in the upside to spurn their first chance to cash out. Depending on just how bargain-basement the price was, this at least partially validates job-cutting board chair Mike Sweeney’s contention that the paper’s post-bankruptcy balance sheet looks strong.
According to Feyder, Taylor and Opperman could abandon the bid, raise it, or buy what shares have been tendered (no percentage is listed). In the latter case, one of the big questions is if that would be enough to earn them board seats they apparently covet. Not all of the Strib’s Big Five owners own 25 percent (that’s mathematically impossible), and it will be interesting to see if the new board still wants the local moguls’ expertise, and if they want to share it.