San Diego Business Journal

Platinum Equity LLC, the Beverly Hills private equity firm that acquired The San Diego Union-Tribune in May 2009, said Nov. 17 that it’s selling the area’s largest daily newspaper to an entity owned by developer and hotelier Doug Manchester.

John Lynch, a longtime radio executive, is president and CEO of MLIM LLC, the company buying the U-T.

Terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed, but a press statement said the deal should close by Dec. 15.

The sale may come as a surprise to many people since Manchester ostensibly was deleveraging his investments in recent years in the wake of the overall real estate market downturn and a divorce.

In March, Manchester Financial Group sold its majority stake in the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel for about $570 million. That followed the sale of his stake in several other hotels, including the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina.

After Platinum Equity acquired the U-T, it revamped the newspaper’s entire operations, laying off many longtime staffers and installing a new management team led by Publisher Ed Moss.

The paper’s late-week daily circulation was listed as 261,298.

In the press statement, Manchester said he looked forward to building on the foundation established by the current management and ownership.