OLD Media Moves

New York magazine owner drops out of BusinessWeek bidding

September 15, 2009

Jon Fine of BusinessWeek reports Tuesday that Bruce Wasserstein has decided against making a bid for the business weekly that McGraw-Hill is trying to sell.

Fine reports, “A spokesman for Wasserstein declined to comment. Wasserstein, the chairman and CEO of financial giant Lazard, owns the business weekly The Deal and a substantial stake in business publisher Penton Media. He also owns New York magazine, which he bought in 2003.

“Wasserstein had been seen by many observers — including this one — as one of the likelier buyers for BusinessWeek. His exit places Bloomberg as perhaps the candidate to beat — assuming, of course, that company, which only met with BusinessWeek management yesterday, goes through with a bid of its own.

“The downside to a possible Bloomberg bid is simple: the company has virtually no experience with making deals. It has made a grand total of two acquisitions in the past twenty or so years. It bought an obscure three-person data firm called Sinkers in 1987, and in 2006 it bought the technology company Brainpower.

“But the absence of Wasserstein means Bloomberg will not have to compete with one of the market’s most formidable dealmakers.”

Read more here.

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