The Star Tribune confirmed Tuesday that Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor has made a formal offer to buy the newspaper.
The Star Tribune says Taylor owns more than 80 companies. In an interview Tuesday, the business magnate told the paper that he's made a cash offer to buy Minnesota's largest newspaper without any other investors.
"It isn’t that I’m interested in going around and buying papers in other parts of the country,” Taylor tells the Star Tribune. “I’m interested in this one because it’s a Minnesota paper.”
The confirmation comes five days after the business newsletter Business Take said Taylor was in line to buy the Star Tribune. In the report, Business Take writer Blois Olson said Taylor “has expressed an interest previously, and has intensified negotiations recently.”
Olson added that “one person knowledge of the transaction suggested that (they) think that there is ‘an agreement in principle.’”
The Wayzata private equity firm Wayzata Investment Partners is currently the majority owner of the Star Tribune, the Business Journal says.
The Star Tribune says the newspaper's board recently approved Taylor's letter of intent, and so long as due diligence goes well over the next few weeks, the businessman expects the sale to close in May. Employees were notified of Taylor's offer to buy the paper Tuesday afternoon.
Publisher Mike Klingensmith told the Star Tribune that the potential deal provides the paper "with a long term owner that is locally based in our community," and he thinks "both of those things are important.”
Provided the sale goes through, Taylor will reportedly become the fourth owner of the Star Tribune in the past 10 years.
Taylor is one of five Minnesotans on the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires, and has estimated net worth of about $1.8 billion, the Star Tribune says.
Taylor isn't the first sports team owner to make a bid to get into the newspaper business. Last fall, Boston Red Sox owner John Henry paid $70 million for The Boston Globe and other media properties, the Globe reported.