Business & Real Estate

McClatchy finalizes Bee building sale, announces stock exchange transfer

The Sacramento Bee building where McClatchy headquarters are located in Sacramento, Calif.
The Sacramento Bee building where McClatchy headquarters are located in Sacramento, Calif. Sacramento Bee File

McClatchy announced Thursday that it closed the sale of The Sacramento Bee building and The Kansas City Star’s office building in deals that, combined, the company said will net it $56.75 million.

Separately, McClatchy announced that its Class A common stock has been approved for listing on the NYSE American LLC (NYSE American) exchange, and the listing will be transferred from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The Sacramento-based publisher of The Sacramento Bee and 29 other newspapers said the deal specifies that the newspaper lease the building back from its new owner over 15 years. The lease also includes McClatchy’s corporate headquarters, part of the widespread facilities at 2100 Q St.

The buyer of the 65-year-old Sacramento Bee building was identified as affiliates of Shopoff Advisors L.P., itself an affiliate of Irvine real estate investment firm Shopoff Realty Investments.

The proposed deal was announced in January this year.

In the listing transfer, the company’s Class A shares will continue to trade under the symbol “MNI.” McClatchy shares are expected to begin trading on the NYSE American exchange next Tuesday and will continue to trade on the NYSE’s “Big Board” until that time. The NYSE American is an enhanced market for small to mid-cap firms that the Sacramento company said more closely reflects McClatchy’s capital structure.

McClatchy recently has been selling real estate assets throughout the chain, amassing cash amid falling print advertising revenue, a complex transition to a digital media company and continued efforts to pay down debt associated with its 2006 takeover of newspaper chain Knight Ridder Inc. for $4.4 billion.

The selloff efforts also included the December 2016, $5.75 million sale of The Sacramento Bee parking garage to Sacramento developer Sotiris Kolokotronis, who plans to construct an apartment building on the site adjacent to the main Bee building at 21 and Q streets.

“We are delighted to have completed our Sacramento sale-leaseback and the sale of the Kansas City office building. Coupled with the proceeds and distribution related to the sale of a majority of our interest in CareerBuilder, which was completed earlier this year, we have increased our cash position to approximately $127 million…,” said Craig Forman, McClatchy’s president and CEO.

Forrman added that “McClatchy continues to improve its balance sheet,” with a further $18 million reduction in debt, bringing net debt to $713 million.

McClatchy announced in June that it had an agreement to sell the majority of its 15 percent ownership in CareerBuilder LLC – the online job-search site – in a deal expected to net the Sacramento company $76 million.

Also on Thursday, McClatchy announced that it has entered into an agreement with Recruitology to provide employment services to customers across its 30 markets. San Francisco-based Recruitology also has partnerships with other newspapers and media groups.

Mark Glover: 916-321-1184, @markhglover