Community Newspaper Holdings, Birmingham, Ala., an employee-owned company financed by the $22 billion Retirement Systems of Alabama, is purchasing two newspaper groups using several loans from the retirement system.
Community News purchased five daily newspapers from Gannett Co. for $62 million and by Sept. 1 will complete a purchase of 28 newspapers from Donrey Media Group for $183 million.
The size of the loans to Community News was not disclosed.
David G. Bronner, CEO of the $22 billion retirement system, said the loans are backed with collateral and pay a higher interest rate than the fund could earn elsewhere.
The Montgomery-based retirement system's relationship with Community News dates back to 1987, when the fund made the company a loan to buy its first 14 newspapers, said Ralph Martin, CEO of Community News.