Billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong buys LA Times for $500M

Billionaire, biotechnology entrepreneur and NantHealth CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, completed his $500 million purchase of the 136-year-old The Los Angeles Times newspaper June 18, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Here are four things to know:

1. Dr. Soon-Shiong made millions after founding and selling an injectable drugmaker, according to Reuters. He later founded NantWorks, which has since spun off two publicly traded companies: NantHealth and NantKwest. Reuters reports Dr. Soon-Shiong plans to take his latest experimental cancer treatment company, called Nant, public by the end of 2018.

2. The $500 million purchase, which was announced in February, includes The Los Angeles Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, Spanish-language Hoy and several community newspapers, according to the report. In a June 17 note to readers published in The Los Angeles Times, Dr. Soon-Shiong said the acquisition was "deeply personal," as "America and, more particularly, Southern California, have given [him] unimaginable opportunities."

"We purchased the California News Group because we want to preserve the integrity, honesty and fairness we've observed in our decades as avid readers of the Los Angeles Times. My family and I fervently believe that The Times, the Union-Tribune and our other titles must continue to serve as beacons of truth, hope and inspiration binding our communities," Dr. Soon-Shiong wrote. "We view the publications we acquired as a quasi-public trust. We understand they will be the voice and inspiration for our cities, our state, the nation and the world."

3. Dr. Soon-Shiong also appointed veteran journalist Norman Pearlstine, 76, as The Los Angeles Times' executive editor — the publication's fourth top editor in less than one year and its 18th since the publication began in 1881, according to the report. Mr. Pearlstine served as an adviser to Dr. Soon-Shiong for two months prior to the appointment.

4. The billionaire philanthropist also maintained a stake in Tronc — the Chicago Tribune's publishing arm, which will return to its former name, Tribune Publishing, two sources told The Los Angeles Times — prior to his $500 million acquisition of the California News Group.

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