Tronc in talks to sell Los Angeles Times to investor Patrick Soon-Shiong

Posted February 6, 2018 5:11 p.m. EST

— The owner of the Los Angeles Times is in talks to sell the paper to a local biotech billionaire, the latest twist in a chaotic few months for the nation's largest metro newspaper, sources familiar with the matter told CNNMoney.

Michael Ferro, who controls the paper's parent company Tronc, is negotiating with Patrick Soon-Shiong, a Tronc investor and physician who has been dubbed "the world's richest doctor."

The deal, if reached, could see Soon-Shiong buying both the Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune for roughly $500 million plus pension liabilities, according to one source with knowledge of the matter.

News of a possible deal was first reported by the Washington Post. NPR and the Los Angeles Times itself have also reported on the talks.

Representatives for Ferro and Soon-Shiong were not immediately available for comment.

The talks come on the heels of a tumultuous period at the Times, including the appointment of three editors-in-chief in less than six months and the suspension of a publisher over prior sexual harassment allegations.