Buried a bit deeper in the story is a window into the dire financial situation at the Strib. Citing an "Avista marketing document," the Pi-Press reveals why Avista may be looking to bail out of the Minnesota newspaper market:
The Star Tribune was the worst performer in Avista's portfolio, according to an Avista marketing document obtained by the Pioneer Press, which says the team behind Avista has a track record of generating "realized proceeds" of 2.7 times the capital invested.
Revenue at the Star Tribune declined 14 percent from $356 million at the time of Avista's purchase to $306 million in 2007, and "relevant EBITDA" (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) also slid 14 percent, to $70 million, according to the marketing document. EBITDA is considered an indicator of a company's cash flow.
Key words: Worst performer. Avista is not a newspaper company--it has holdings in healthcare and other industries. If it can find a way to get out from under the Strib and park the investment in a more lucrative concern, it'll do so in a New York minute.