Thursday December 17,2015 : ADELSON ALLEGEDLY THE MAN BEHIND LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL ACQUISITION (Update)
Rumours earlier this week appear to be accurate despite Adelson's denial of "personal" involvement.
It appears that the rumours earlier this week that multi-billionaire land gambling mogul Sheldon Adelson is the man and the money behind the recent $140 million acquisition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal are true.
Breaking the story of Adelson’s involvement late Wednesday, Forbes magazine, citing “multiple sources familiar with the situation,” named the 82-year-old tycoon – said to be worth $23.7 billion, as the presence behind buyer News + Media Capital Group, LLC, which acquired the Review-Journal and several smaller Nevada newspapers last week from New Media Investment Corp.
The Journal followed the Fortune expose with its own lengthy report on Adelson's involvement following several days of anger and frustration over the lack of ownership transparency in the deal, a particularly important ethical requirement in media deals of this nature.
Some reports suggest that Adelson was prepared to pay a premium of $57 million in the generous consideration agreed on to acquire the Journal.
In the past Adelson has allegedly been uncooperative when approached by the Journal in past gambling industry issues.
Less than two hours after the Fortune report, Adelson told CNN he had “no personal interest” in the R-J, although journalists immediately locked on to the qualification "personal" in the statement. Previously, Adelson's Las Vegas Sands company had not responded to requests for clarification as the rumour gained traction.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal's report claims that Adelson's 41-year-old son-in-law Patrick Dumont (LVS exec for finance and strategy) arranged the $140 million purchase on Adelson's behalf.
Dumont is married to Sivan Ochshorn (40), a daughter of Adelson's wife, Dr. Miriam Adelson, from a prior marriage.
Sivan is listed as owner/agent of Israel Hayom, a free newspaper which is owned by her step-father. Fortune magazine described Israel HaYom as "stridently" supportive of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his center-right Likud party.
One source claimed that Patrick Dumont handles the Adelson family investments, and created News + Media Capital Group, LLC specifically to accomplish the acquisition.
Another alleged that Dumont was also behind a previous attempt to acquire the Journal which failed.
Dumont has so far not commented on either issue, and his wife Sivan hung up when telephoned for clarity by reporters.
Michael Reed, CEO of the company that has sold the LVRJ, New Media Investment Corp., did not respond to repeated calls for comment.
The lack of transparency spilled over into politics Wednesday when Rep. Dina Titus took to the Nevada House floor to demand that the buyers identify themselves, associating herself with similar calls from the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of News Editors who are demanding transparency.
News + Media manager Michael Schroeder has already declined to disclose the acquiring company's investors, as has Review-Journal Publisher Jason Taylor.
Frustrating attempts to uncover the people behind the acquisition, News + Media Capital Group, LLC is a Delaware limited liability corporation, and is not required to list its owners in any public document.