Gannett Officially Ends Pursuit of Tronc

It could have been so beautiful. But alas.

After months of “will they” “won’t they” speculation attached to stories about Gannett’s pursuit of Tronc, Gannett has issued a final “won’t they.”

In a statement, Gannett said it “has determined not to pursue an acquisition of Tronc.” As a result of this news, Tronc’s shares have plummeted by 30 percent. Breaking up is hard to do.

Thus ends a saga that began way back in May, when Gannett made an unsolicited offer of $815 million for Tronc (then Tribune Publishing). Tronc then went on to shrug off at least three more offers from Gannett.

Word of the deal finally falling through spread last week, when banks that have been financing Gannett’s bid withdrew because they didn’t like the agreed-upon $18.75 a share valuation.