The new owners of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News have reached contract agreements with the last two of the newspapers' 16 unions, clearing the final impediments to a smooth transfer of the publications Friday.
The newspapers' drivers, who twice before rejected contract offers, voted Sunday, 148-15, to approve an agreement with Philadelphia Media Network Inc., the company that will take control of the papers.

Over the weekend, Philadelphia Media Network also resolved contractual-language issues with the company's mailers, the employees who assemble the papers for delivery.

Each of the company's unions was asked to make concessions equal to 13 percent of its share of the company's expenses.

Philadelphia Media Network is now set to close on its purchase of The Inquirer, Daily News, and the website Philly.com on Friday, and the company will effectively emerge from bankruptcy.

"We received signed contracts from the Teamster drivers and mailers today, which has put us on a direct path to closing and operating the company this Friday," Gregory Osberg, Philadelphia Media Network's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

"The concessions that will be implemented companywide will allow us to exit bankruptcy on sound financial footing and provide us the opportunity to launch our growth plan immediately. The Philadelphia Media Network is ready for takeoff, and it's going to be an exciting ride."

Philadelphia Media Network is a collection of about 30 financial institutions that purchased the local media outlets at auction Sept. 23 for about $139 million.

The group, which included Angelo, Gordon & Co.; Alden Global Capital, and Credit Suisse, held $318 million in debt owed by Philadelphia Newspapers L.L.C., which bought the papers and website in 2006.

Philadelphia Newspapers was a collection of local investors led by Brian P. Tierney, who served as president and chief executive officer. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2009.

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Contact Christopher K. Hepp at 215-854-2208 or chepp@phillynews.com.