The L.A. doctor's firm helps Tribune Publishing fend off Gannett's merger offer.
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 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.