OLD Media Moves

Potential BW buyers revise bids

September 29, 2009

At least four bidders for BusinessWeek have submitted revised bids this week, writes Tom Lowry of BusinessWeek.

Lowry writes, “Bankers frequently allow for revised bids in case potential buyers weren’t fully prepared initially, or that the parties learn of new information during interim due diligence.

“Among those submitting revised bids were financial data giant Bloomberg LP, private equity firm Open Gate Capital, and investment firm ZelnickMedia LLC. At least one other bidder, which BusinessWeek was not able to identify, also submitted a bid. Spokespersons for Bloomberg, Open Gate and ZelnickMedia declined to comment. McGraw-Hill spokesman Steve Weiss declined to comment, other than to say: ‘We are pleased that the process, which will take some time to complete, continues to go well.’

“It is not clear what the bidders offered for the magazine, or whether offers exceeded what McGraw-Hill might be willing to absorb, if anything, in terms of liabilities, from possible severances to penalties for ending contracts early.

“Bloomberg appears to be the most aggressive in its pursuit of BusinessWeek. Norm Pearlstine, Bloomberg’s chief content officer, held discussions last week, in person and over the phone, with BusinessWeek’s top editors. Among those Pearlstine spoke with were editor-in-chief Stephen Adler, executive editors Ellen Pollock and John Byrne, and managing editor Ciro Scotti. Topics discussed in those one-on-one sessions were wide-ranging, including the possibility of integrating Bloomberg Professional stories into the magazine and a willingness on Bloomberg’s part to add more editorial pages to the magazine. That suggests Bloomberg might be looking at tinkering with BusinessWeek’s traditional 60-40 mix of editorial pages to ad pages.”

Read more here.

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