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Gannett enters the picture as Tribune suitor

By TIMES WIRES
Published November 14, 2006


Tribune Co.'s stock rose modestly Monday amid reports that interest in buying the media conglomerate has stepped up, including a potential bid from Gannett Co., the nation's largest newspaper publisher. Gannett's reported interest brings a large media player into Tribune's possible sell-off for the first time and could provide significant competition to such confirmed bidders as Los Angeles billionaires Ronald Burkle and Eli Broad. Tribune shares rose 43 cents, or 1.3 percent, to close at $32.46 on the New York Stock Exchange.

UnitedHealth says it will delay filing

UnitedHealth Group Inc., the nation's second-largest health insurer, said Monday it will delay filing its quarterly financial report for the July-September period due to ongoing accounting issues related to stock options. The company also repeated its disclosure last week that its stock option problems will cost significantly more than the $286-million it previously estimated, and said it would restate earnings all the way back to 1994. In October, a company-sponsored investigation concluded that stock options awarded to then-chairman and CEO William McGuire and others were probably backdated.

Equity firms agree to buy Eddie Bauer

Two private-equity firms have agreed to buy apparel retailer Eddie Bauer Holdings Inc. for $286-million in cash, the clothing chain said Monday. Under terms of the deal, a holding company owned by affiliates of Sun Capital Partners Inc. and Golden Gate Capital will pay $9.25 per share in cash and take on debt of $328-million.

T-bill rates mixed

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills were mixed in Monday's auction, with three-month bills unchanged and six-month bills dipping to the lowest level since mid October. The Treasury Department auctioned $17-billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 4.955 percent, unchanged from last week. An additional $15-billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 4.955 percent, the same as the three-month rate. That was down from 4.980 percent last week.