Do the Zell

May 25, 2007

Zell: It’s more than a name.

That’s what we concluded from a report by Gimme Credit, a company that publishes  independent research on corporate bonds. The report – speculating about whether U.S. newspaper publisher McClatchy Co. could be a buyout target — came out a month ago, but somehow we overlooked a curious turn of phrase:

“We also think the [McClatchy] family would not do a Zell by adopting a leveraged employee stock ownership plan together with S-Corporation tax status.”

The reference, of course, is to Chicago real estate billionaire Sam Zell, who is leading a plan to take Tribune private for billions of dollars and set the company up as an employee-owned business.

To us it sounds more like a dance step, sort of in keeping with a man who calls himself the “grave dancer.”

Now for some weekend fun: What would it mean to do the Redstone? Or do the Parsons? Or the Cuban? Discuss.

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