Auction deadline arrives for Inquirer, Daily News and


Representatives of three bidders are gathered in New York at this hour for an auction to determine the ownership of the The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and and bring their parent company out of bankruptcy.

The closed auction is taking place at the offices of Proskauer Rose, a law firm that represents the parent firm, Philadelphia Newspapers L.L.C.

The auction was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., but there is not word yet at to whether it has actually begun.

Inquirer reporters are in place at the law firm’s building at 1585 Broadway awaiting developments. We will report them as they become available.

The bidders are a group of local investors; the senior lenders and Stern Partners Inc. of Canada.

The principals -- the bidders and their lawyers -- are not meeting face to face, but are in separate rooms for the auction.

The auctioneers are Lawrence McMichael and Mark Thomas of Proskauer Rose. They will run the bidding process, which is quieter and less frantic than the popular image of an auction.

There will be a round robin, with each bidder given an opportunity to top the existing high bid. The minimum monetary bid increase will be $100,000.

After each round of bids, there will be a break of 15 to 20 minutes to allow the participants to reconsider their positions and prepare for the next round, McMichael said.

The auction will continue until the last bid goes unchallenged.