Monday, August 11, 2008

McClatchy's assets continue shrinking -- McClatchy slashes the book value of "Classified Ventures" and its share of Seattle Times

Signalling the asset value of McClatchy continues to shrink, the company disclosed the book value of its stake in Classified Ventures has dropped more than 10 percent. In addition, McClatchy also declared its share of The Seattle Times has dropped to less than $10 million. Editor & Publisher:
A regulatory filing Monday by The McClatchy Co. suggests that Classified Ventures, the newspaper industry's online initiative to preserve its classified franchise, is going backward.

McClatchy disclosed in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that it has booked the value of its 25.6% stake in Classified Ventures LLC at $86.5 million -- down from a declared value of $99.3 million on Dec. 30, 2007. In addition to McClatchy, Classified Ventures partners are Belo Corporation; Gannett Co. Inc; Tribune Co.; and The Washington Post Co. Their sites include the automotive portal, and the rental site,

In its SEC filing, also booked a declining value, though far more modest, for its 14.4% stake in CareerBuilder LLC, the newspaper response to Monster and other jobs sites. McClatchy calculated its stake was worth $219.5 million, down from $224.6 million at the end of last year.

McClatchy also slashed the value of its 49.5% stake in The Seattle Times Co. to $9.9 million from $19.3 million.

This was the second straight quarter McClatchy has cut the carrying value of its share of the Blethen family-controlled publisher of The Seattle Times that it inherited as part of the Knight Ridder acquisition. In May it dropped the value to about $12 million.
Last month, McClatchy dumped its stake in ShopLocal at a loss. McClatchy's stake in the Seattle Times was worth $102 million at the end of 2006. It is a shock that the value has now plunged to less than $10 million.


Anonymous said...

The collapse in value of the Seattle Times is much worse than you say. According to a 2007 article in the Seattle Times, McClatchy in 2000 offered the Blethens $500 million plus assumption of the $200 million debt for the other half of the newspaper. That would value the Seattle Times at about $1.4 billion in 2000. This week's disclosure by McClatchy indicates the paper's value is now $20 million. Boy, I bet some Blethens are kicking themselves for not taking that 2000 deal, especially as the Blethen empire now in peril of collapse, according to court papers Blethen Maine papers filed in court.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was buy low and sell high. HEY Gary, got any used cars for sale? I'll sell you my Yugo for $800,000. It's a great deal! Really!