Thursday, July 23, 2009

Suitors (Gulp) Emerge for BusinessWeek

Kudos to Jon Fine, BusinessWeek's media columnist, for producing the first genuine news to emerge since word that BW was being put on the block. That's the good news. The bad news is that they are a forbidding, and tiny, bunch.

In a column online here, Fine identifies two potential bidders:

One company participating in that process is OpenGate Capital, the Los Angeles private equity firm that in October 2008 purchased TV Guide magazine (without its Web operations) for $1 plus the assumption of substantial liabilities. Another interested party, though it is not yet fully certain he will place a bid, is the veteran financier Bruce Wasserstein. Wasserstein is the chairman and CEO of Lazard Frères and also chairman of investment firm Wasserstein & Co., which holds a substantial stake in business publisher Penton Media and owns The Deal magazine. In 2003, Wasserstein bought New York magazine.
So we have the company that bought TV Guide for a buck, and a Wall Street guy that you really don't want to have owning a biz magazine if you can avoid it. Which maybe you can't in this instance.

Time Inc. has passed on BW, as has Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, and the private equity firm that owns the American Banker.

So goes another day in a business that truly sucks.

© 2009 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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