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JRN IS TENDERED 20 MILLION SHARES.

As the last part of its initial public offering, Journal Communications Inc. last week said that it had purchased more than 20 million shares of its B-1 common stock, the stock held by employees and heirs of a former publisher.

The Milwaukee-based multimedia company said that it had paid $15 a share for the stock, which was financed by its initial public offering in late September, as well as a line of credit that the company had arranged.

JRN said that almost 15 million shares of the class of stock remain outstanding. This class of stock is not traded and can't be converted to the tradable class until a Securities and Exchange Commission mandatory restriction period ends.

The B-1 common stock is a class of shares called super-voting stock. Many multimedia companies have established super-voting shares, which typically have something like 10 times the number of votes per share than the stock that is traded in public.

Journal Communications, whose flagship operation is the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, had been controlled by an employee trust established in 1937 to keep the company locally owned. Harry Grant, the paper's longtime owner, established the trust, which owned more than 90 percent of the company; his heirs controlled the remainder.

The company's public stock, which is traded on the New York Stock Exchange, traded as high as $18.65 the day the company went public; it closed last Friday at $17.71.

It is still an open question whether JRN went public to have easier access to the capital markets for acquisitions, or whether it went public in an effort to make it easier to be acquired. Probably management realized that it either needed to grow dramatically or be acquired.
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Publication:NewsInc
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 10, 2003
Words:285
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