Business & Real Estate

McClatchy offers to buy back $406 million in debt

The McClatchy Co., using the proceeds of a major sale, on Tuesday offered to buy back up to $406 million worth of bonds.

Sacramento-based McClatchy, owner of The Bee and 28 other newspapers, is using cash from the recent sale of its share of automotive website At the time of the sale, McClatchy said it would use the bulk of the $406 million in after-tax proceeds to pare back its $1.5 billion in debt.

In its offer to lenders, McClatchy offered to buy back up to $406 million worth of the $900 million in bonds that are set to mature in 2022. To the extent that bondholders don’t respond to the offer, McClatchy expects to spend the leftover cash on various digital initiatives or other corporate purposes.

McClatchy and its partners sold to Gannett Co. Inc. in a deal that valued the website at $2.5 billion.

The Sacramento company has been diligent in using spare cash to reduce the debt left over from its 2006 purchase of Knight Ridder Inc.

McClatchy shares closed at $3, down 6 cents, on the New York Stock Exchange. The bond buyback was announced after the market closed.

Call The Bee’s Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.