Lee Enterprises has struck a deal to buy out Pulitzer Inc for $64 a share in a deal worth $1.46 billion, making it America's fourth-largest newspaper publisher.
Pulitzer operates 14 daily newspapers, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, founded by Joseph Pulitzer in 1878. Lee operates 44 daily newspapers.
Pulitzer had indicated in November that it might sell off its papers.
Lee Enterprises, a Davenport, Iowa-based publisher, said that according to the merger agreement the Pulitzer acquisition will enhance Lee's stature by 60 per cent in revenue and 50 per cent in circulation. Lee will also become the US's seventh largest newspaper group in circulation with a new total circulation of 1.7 million daily and 2 million Sunday.
Pulitzer will now be a Lee subsidiary, as per the merger agreement. Lee will now have 10,700 employees, with the addition of 4,000 people from Pulitzer.
Michael E Pulitzer, grandson of the founder and chairman of the Pulitzer board of directors, said the sale to Lee was in the best interests of Pulitzer's shareholders.