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Texas Firm Negotiating to Acquire Wave Community Newspapers Chain

Media: The 14 weeklies, serving primarily black and Latino neighborhoods, filed for bankruptcy in 1998.

March 30, 2000|STEPHEN GREGORY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Los Angeles Community Development Bank is in negotiations with a Texas businessman to sell its 41% ownership of Wave Community Newspapers Inc., a local chain of 14 weeklies that largely serves black and Latino neighborhoods and has been under Chapter 11 reorganization since 1998.

William Chu, president and chief executive of the Community Development Bank, confirmed Wednesday that talks were underway with Pluria Marshall, owner of Equal Access Media Inc., which publishes the 30,000-circulation Houston Informer and Texas Freeman newspaper covering African American issues in the Gulf Coast city. Marshall, who has been a member of Wave's board of directors since July, could not be reached for comment.

Chu said Marshall made an offer last summer for the bank's shares and for roughly $2 million in outstanding loans made to Wave as part of its reorganization efforts. Chu did not reveal the terms of the negotiations.

The bank purchased the shares in February 1999, Chu said, to help stabilize the company during its reorganization. The bank's involvement in Wave, he said, was always intended to be short term.

Chu said Marshall also seeks to buy an additional 10% of Wave from other shareholders to become the company's majority owner.

With a reported total circulation of 230,000, Wave publishes such weeklies as the Inglewood-Hawthorne Wave and the South Gate Press.

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