Lee Enterprises abandons reverse stock split plan

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Newspaper publisher Lee Enterprises Inc. is abandoning plans for a reverse stock split that would have combined as many as five shares into one.

In March, shareholders had given Lee’s board of directors until June 30 to decide whether to go forward with the reverse split. Chairman and CEO Mary Junck said Thursday that the board has decided not to pursue it, after considering such factors as current market conditions and business forecasts.

At the time it was proposed, the reverse stock split would have pushed Lee’s stock well above the $1 per share minimum that is required of companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Lee’s stock hasn’t traded below $1 since January. It gained 2 cents, or 1.2 percent, to close Thursday at $1.65.

Lee, the publisher of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and nearly 50 other newspapers, emerged from a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy process earlier this year. The process allowed Lee to complete the restructuring of about $1 billion in debt.

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