Pulitzer Inc., the newspaper company that agreed to be bought by Lee Enterprises Inc. last month, was sued by a shareholder who claimed the $1.41-billion purchase price was too low.
The lawsuit filed by Todd Veeck in Delaware Chancery Court said Lee's offer of $64 a share for Pulitzer, owner of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is "unfair and inadequate." The complaint, filed Jan. 31, the same day the deal was announced, seeks to block the purchase, which Lee says will be completed by May 31.
Lee's price was 1.7% more than Pulitzer's Jan. 28 closing price.
The acquisition would end more than 120 years of control of Pulitzer by the descendants of Joseph Pulitzer, who founded the company in 1878 and donated money to establish Columbia University's journalism school and the Pulitzer Prizes. Pulitzer family members hold 88% of the company's voting shares.
"We've seen the lawsuit, and we have not made any comment," said Jim Maloney, director of shareholder relations at St. Louis- based Pulitzer.
The suit seeks to represent all Pulitzer shareholders.
Shares of Pulitzer rose 10 cents Monday to $63.70 on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of Davenport, Iowa-based Lee rose 26 cents to $45.31.