March 24, 2017 Last Updated 2:17 pm

Oaktree Capital Group cashes out its tronc stock holdings

There was more jockeying of ownership of tronc, the former Tribune Publishing, as Oaktree Capital Group cashed out its holdings.

Earlier, Oaktree Tribune, an affiliate of Oaktree Capital Group, had sold its 950,000 shares to Nant Capital, LLC at a price of $14.60 per share for an aggregate purchase price of $13,870,000. Nant Capital is the entity name for the ownership portion of Patrick Soon-Shiong (more on him later).

Now, Oaktree has sold its remaining shares at a price of $15.00 for total price of $56 million. This morning TRNC stock is trading up over 1.5 percent today to $13.38 a share.

Oaktree had been a strong supporter of tronc selling out to Gannett, so the sale makes sense, and was a long time in coming.

Gannett had originally offered $12.25 a share to acquire Tribune Publishing. Then, when the publisher of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune would not negotiate, Gannett raised the offer to $15 a share. So, as you can see, Oaktree eventually got what it wanted.

But Gannett could not get Michael Ferro, chairman of Tribune Publishing, and the man who thought it was a great idea to change the name of the company to tronc, to bite.

Now the question becomes what happens with Patrick Soon-Shiong, the LA surgeon and entrepreneur, who was invited in to help beat off the Gannett offer, and who now is the second largest shareholder in the company. Some have speculated that he wants to take over the entire company, while I am more prone to think he cares only about the Southern California properties.

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