Sale of Los Angeles Times being negotiated

LOS ANGELES — The owner of the Los Angeles Times is in talks to sell the newspaper to a billionaire medical entrepreneur.

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a major shareholder of parent company Tronc Inc., would pay $500 million for the newspaper and the San Diego Union-Tribune, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press after word of the sale was first reported by The Washington Post and Times.

The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the sale hadn’t been finalized, said the deal was coming together quickly, but cautioned it could still fall apart.

The sale would come amid turmoil at the Times, which has had a series of publishers and top editors in recent years. Publisher Ross Levinsohn is on unpaid leave after revelations he was a defendant in two sexual harassment lawsuits at other companies. Journal­ists voted last month to unionize for the first time in the paper’s 136-year history.

Soon-Shiong said by Forbes to be the nation’s richest doctor, made the bulk of his fortune selling two of the drug companies that he founded for a total of nearly $9 billion a decade ago. Forbes put his current wealth at $7.8 billion.