Lenfest becomes sole owner of Philly newspapers after Katz heir drops out of $88M deal

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PHILADELPHIA – A cable magnate has completed an $88 million deal to take over Philadelphia’s largest newspapers after a bitter court fight and the sudden death of his business partner.

H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest becomes the sole owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com.

The 84-year-old Lenfest is overseas and has not returned messages this week.

But outgoing owner George Norcross, the New Jersey Democratic powerbroker, confirms the sale was finalized before Wednesday’s court deadline.

Lenfest and businessman Lewis Katz recently bid $88 million to buy out Norcross and other partners who bought the company in 2012.

Katz died in a plane crash days later. His son, Drew, decided Monday to sell his $16 million stake to Lenfest.

The company has been sold six times in eight years.

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