Patrick Soon-Shiong
Photograph by Bloomberg via Getty Images
By Fortune Editors
May 23, 2016

Shares of Tribune Publishing Co. (tpub) tumbled Monday after the owner of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and other newspapers rejected a second takeover bid from Gannett (gci), which owns USA Today and other publications. Last week, Gannett had upped its offer to $15 per share from $12.25 but Tribune Publishing called the offer “clearly inadequate” in a statement and expressed “serious doubts about Gannett’s ability to enter into a transaction,” citing to its approximate $650 million pension and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) liability.

Earlier Monday, Tribune Publishing also announced a $70.5 million capital investment from Nant Capital, which was founded by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. Tribune issued 4.7 million shares of common stock to Nant Capital at $15 per share, ironically the same level of Gannett’s “grossly inadequate” second offer.

So who is Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong? In a 2013 cover story entitled Who’s the Richest Guy in L.A.?, Fortune described him as “as a pioneering transplant surgeon at UCLA in the 1980s, a widely published researcher, and the inventor of the cancer drug Abraxane,” adding:

In 1998, Soon-Shiong cobbled together loans to buy a struggling generic drugmaker. He turned the company around, used the profits to develop Abraxane, preserved his equity, and cashed out a decade later with two spectacular deals that catapulted him into the upper reaches of the American plutocracy.

With wealth has come a measure of fame, at least locally. He bought a piece of the Lakers in 2010 — Magic Johnson’s 4.5% — and so gained a seat (four, actually) on L.A.’s most visible celebrity perch: courtside at the Staples Center. He made a very public run at the Dodgers last year and another at Philip Anschutz’s global sports and entertainment conglomerate, AEG; both fell short but garnered lots of press. He and his wife, former TV actress Michele Chan, are L.A.’s newest A-list philanthropists. They’re signatories to Warren Buffett’s giving pledge, sustainers of the tony St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica (the Soon-Shiongs outrank Johnny Carson and everybody else on the lobby donor plaque), and rescuers of Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital in south L.A.

In March 2015, Soon-Shiong was named CEO of the Los Angeles-based cancer research firm, NantKwest (nk), which went public in July 2015. The IPO priced at $25 per share—above its expected range—and opened at $37 but has fallen over 80% from its opening price. Still, Soon-Shiong was one of the highest-paid CEOs in corporate America last year, raking in a whopping $147.6 million.


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