published on February 12, 2016 - 2:54 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
The McClatchy Co. announced today it has contributed a portfolio of six of its real estate holdings to its defined benefit pension plan, including its Fresno property.

The Sacramento-based newspaper chain publishes 29 dailies across the U.S. In addition to the Fresno real estate contribution, three of the properties are in North Carolina, one is in Mississippi and the last in Florida.

Independent appraisals have valued the properties at $47.1 million in total.

McClatchy plans to lease back the property from its pension plan for 11 years, paying an aggregate annual rent of about $3.5 million into the plan. The contribution will have no impact on day-to-day operations at the properties, which will be managed by WhiteStar Advisors, LLC, an independent real estate advisory firm.

The move is expected to “more than satisfy” the company’s pension contribution for the year required under federal law, according to a McClatchy news release. The final amount of the 2016 contribution should be determined in the third quarter.

“We view this as a win-win transaction for both the pension plan and the company,” said Elaine Lintecum, McClatchy’s chief financial officer, in a statement. “Our pension plan will benefit from rental income paid by the company and we expect it to also benefit from price appreciation as these properties hopefully gain in value over time. The company will, in turn, preserve its cash to repay debt.”

Lintecum added, “The company will be able to continue to use the facilities for the foreseeable future and will receive a cash tax benefit of approximately $10 million associated with its 2015 tax returns related to the net tax basis of the property contributed.”

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