Media and publishing firm The McClatchy Company (MNI) was 17% higher Monday on news of the possible sale of auto sales website, in which it has a sizable stake.

MNI has a 25.6% stake in Classified Ventures LLC, the newspaper consortium owner of and McClatchy, along with Gannett Co (GCI), Tribune Co (TRBAA-OTC), The Washington Post and A.H. Belo (AHC), could benefit from a sale of as the market continues to price these successful online brands at attractive levels, reports The Wall Street Journal., the big auto shopping and research site owned by a consortium of large newspaper publishers, could fetch $3 billion, the WSJ reported.

Moelis & Co is advising Classified Ventures LLC in the early stage of discussions regarding a sale.

A deal could likely mean the wind-down of the consortium, Classified Ventures, which last week announced a deal to sell its other primary property,, for $585 million to CoStar Groupo (CSGP).

In related news, reports extremely high new and used car inventory following a challenging winter weather season.

Jesse Toprak, chief analyst for said, “Consumers will benefit from automakers and dealers who are willing to move standing inventory at a steep discount, with the most attractive specials found in large-vehicle segments. For those in the market for a new car, there are some excellent deals to take advantage of.”

MNI hit a six-year high of $7.32 per share on volume of 2 million shares in midday Monday trade, almost four times an average daily trading. The 52-week price range for MNI is $2.13 – $7.32 per share.

TRBAA is up 2.8% at $83.50 per share, near a 52-week high of $$84.85 per share.
GCI is up 2%, near a 52-week high of $30.43 per share. AHC is up 3.5%, hitting $12.18 per share near all-time high levels.

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