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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Wow, the Hammers are out for Knight-Ridder! (KRI)

Another big institutional holder of Knight-Ridder called for a sale of the company today. Harris, which holds 8%, added it's voice to Private Capital's. This means that 27% of the shareholder base wants out. Bad.
Is this a sign of increased shareholder activism? I've seen lots of funds being raised lately using this investment style, so this would make sense. The thing I don't get is why KRI and why now? Sure, it's sector is in a squeeze, but all the papers are now. Do the agitators think they'll get a higher price by being the first head on the chopping block? Maybe they have a point. There's bound to be a paper group that still believes, would like to bulk up and is willing to pay synergy premiums. I'm assuming that Harris and Private know there are bidders in the water, otherwise, why would go so vocal so quickly?
I'm just wondering who at Harris and Private was stupid enough to buy into this clearly declining sector? (Not that I have much to say considering my recent Symantec call...)

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