The McClatchy Co. said Friday that it contributed $47.1 million worth of company-owned real estate to its pension plan, including The Bee’s downtown Fresno property.
The move is unusual but not unprecedented. From time to time, corporations make their annual pension contributions while conserving cash. Sacramento-based McClatchy, which owns The Fresno Bee and 28 other daily newspapers, made its 2011 pension contribution in the form of real estate.
In the latest move, the company is contributing real estate in Fresno; Raleigh, N.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Garner, N.C.; Gulfport, Miss.; and Doral, Fla. McClatchy will lease the properties back from the pension plan and pay annual rent totaling about $3.5 million.
“Our pension plan will benefit from rental income paid by the company, and we expect it to also benefit from price appreciation as these properties hopefully gain in value over time,” said Chief Financial Officer Elaine Lintecum in a prepared statement. “The company will, in turn, preserve its cash to repay debt.”