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Local billionaire buys Los Angeles Times for $500m

Bringing the paper under local ownership for the first time in 18 years

Gulf News

Los Angeles: A biotech billionaire struck a $500 million (Dh1.84 billion) deal Wednesday to buy the Los Angeles Times, ending the paper’s quarrelsome relationship with its Chicago-based corporate overseers and bringing it under local ownership for the first time in 18 years.

The agreement between Los Angeles medical entrepreneur Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong, 65, and Tronc Inc represents the latest instance of a rich, civic-minded individual purchasing a newspaper from a big corporation. The deal includes the purchase of The San Diego Union-Tribune and some other publications and the assumption of $90 million in pension liabilities. Soon-Shiong, 65, amassed his fortune in part by developing a cancer drug in 1991. He was already a major shareholder in Tronc, one of the richest men in Los Angeles and the nation’s wealthiest doctor by Forbes’ estimate, with a net worth put at $7.8 billion.