$88 million bid earns Katz ownership of Inquirer

By Jim Boyle | May 27, 2014

The fractured relationship between the group of investors who own and operate the parent

company of the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and philly.com has finally broken following Tuesday's private auction of the media group.

According to philly.com, Lewis Katz and H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest outlasted their former partners George E. Norcross III, Joseph Buckelew and William Hankowsky to gain full control of Interstate General Media Holdings, L.L.C. (IGM) with an $88 million bid.

Tuesday's auction, held in private at the law offices of Dechert L.L.P. on Arch Street, puts an end to management disputes within the investment groups that had a few public eruptions. The highest profile battle involved the firing of veteran editor William Marimow last year, a move made by publisher Robert Hall and supported by Norcross.

Katz successfully lobbied a Philadelphia judge to reinstate Marimow, but the incident became the tipping point that paved the way to Tuesday's auction. The group was formed in 2012 to purchase the newspaper and media assets for $55 million.

“We always understood that no matter who won the auction, there was a great deal of work to be done,” said Norcross, Buckelew and Hankowsky in a prepared statement. “Now, with this chapter ended, we hope the company can return its focus to accomplishing that needed work.”

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