An investor group led by former Chicago Ald. Edwin Eisendrath and the Chicago Federation of Labor submitted a bid Monday to buy the Chicago Sun-Times.
The group beat a 5 p.m. Monday deadline requiring a letter of intent, supporting financial documentation and an operating plan to run Chicago’s longtime No. 2 newspaper.
Terms of the offer were not disclosed, but Eisendrath said the effort has raised about $15 million, supported by 10 to 15 investors he declined to name.
“We’ve raised a lot of money,” said Eisendrath, 59. “It’s a remarkable thing that Chicagoans have done in a very short time.”
Sun-Times Editor and Publisher Jim Kirk declined to comment Monday.
Eisendrath did not discuss specific plans for running the Sun-Times, but said the paper would adhere to its tradition as a voice for the working class, which he believes is a pathway to future success.
“Our goal here is to make a first-rate news organization that has this voice that is Chicago’s,” Eisendrath said. “We think that’s a good business, and we also think it’s good for the city.”
The Sun-Times has been working closely with the antitrust division of the Justice Department to solicit alternatives to a previous bid from the rival Chicago Tribune’s parent company, Tronc.
Chicago-based Tronc, which owns the Tribune, Los Angeles Times and seven other major newspapers, announced May 15 it had entered into a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire Wrapports — whose properties include the Sun-Times and the Chicago Reader — for an undisclosed price.
While Tronc has pledged the Sun-Times would remain an independent news operation, the Justice Department historically has sought to preserve competition within a market through separate ownership.
Dennis Culloton, a Tronc spokesman, declined to comment Monday.
The Harvard-educated Eisendrath served as alderman for Chicago’s affluent 43rd Ward, which includes Lincoln Park, Old Town and the Gold Coast, from 1987 to 1993, when he resigned to become regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In 2006, Eisendrath unsuccessfully challenged then-incumbent Gov. Rod Blagojevich in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Eisendrath currently serves as managing partner of StrateSphere, an Ohio-based business development company.