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MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota Timberwolves owner and printing magnate Glen Taylor has signed a letter of intent to buy the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Publisher Michael Klingensmith announced the letter in a note to staff Tuesday.

Klingensmith says Taylor is going through due diligence that should lead to the sale of the company.

He gave no other details. Taylor told the Star Tribune he has made a cash offer without any other investors but declined to say how much. He told the newspaper he expects the sale to close in May.

"I think they have great leadership, and I think they are in a very contested business but I think that they will do well in the future," Taylor said during an interview with KARE 11's Jana Shortal.

The Star Tribune emerged from bankruptcy in 2009. A pair of investment companies, Wayzata Investment Partners and GE Capital, together own about 80 percent of the newspaper's shares.

"Being private, I think will allow them to plan further into the future and to take some risk and to do some things that you can only do when you have ownership that is aligned with you from the same state and from the same background," Taylor said.

CEO Michael Klingensmith agreed with Taylor in a statement.

"As a company we have felt that the best possible ownership situation for the Star Tribune--as we've seen in other markets recently--would be to have a long-term, local owner who knows and is vested in our community. We think this vote of confidence by Glen Taylor reflects the significant journalistic and business progress that we've made over the last several years to become one of the country's top performing major news organizations."

"I've read a lot of stuff from the peers that are saying that the Tribune is one that is recognized by fellow papers throughout the United States," Taylor said. "I want to keep it at that level, and I think that is important for us in Minnesota."

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