The Blethen Deal is Done
Pennsylvania newspaper publisher Richard Connor is set to make an announcement on April 30 that he has secured the necessary financing and is closing on his purchase of the Blethen Maine Newspapers. Two sources familiar with the negotiations agree that the sale will go through, although they could not reveal the exact terms, including the price Connor and his partners will pay.
The Blethen Maine Newspapers include the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal, Morning Sentinel, MaineToday Web site and other properties. Connor would also become the owner of valuable real estate in downtown Portland.
Connor’s name first surfaced as a potential buyer of the newspapers in July 2008 as one of the partners in Maine Media Investments, a partnership involving former U.S. Sen. William Cohen, developers Robert Baldacci and Michael Liberty, and others. Since then, Cohen, Baldacci and Liberty have faded into the background, and it’s not known if they’ll have any involvement with the new ownership, although one source said, “If they do, it’ll be miniscule.”
Connor did secure some financing through HM Capital Partners in Dallas, and that private equity firm is expected to own a substantial share of the Maine papers.
Al Diamon can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.