Posts Tagged ‘BusinessWeek for sale’
Ouch! It has got to be hard to report on your own demise, but BusinessWeek says bidders are starting to emerge. McGraw-Hill says the representatives from the bidding companies will get a look at more detailed financial information during management presentations made by the magazine’s senior leadership, which will begin late next week or early August.
According to the magazine, 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.
There are at least a few more companies expected to attend the BusinessWeek management presentations as well, though their identities could not be immediately determined. A spokeswoman for OpenGate said executives from the company are on vacation and can’t be reached, and a spokesman for Wasserstein declined to comment. Attendance at these management presentations does not guarantee that a participating company will make a final bid, but before a company can take part in such meetings it generally must make some kind of preliminary, nonbinding offer for the property being shopped.
From Financial Times
McGraw-Hill might reap only a nominal $1 by selling BusinessWeek, according to people familiar with the 80-year-old financial magazine’s record of losses.
The publisher has appointed Evercore, a boutique investment bank, to sell the title after deciding it was non-core to a group that owns the Standard & Poor’s rating agency and an educational publisher, two people familiar with the decision said.
McGraw-Hill said it was “exploring strategic options” for Business Week and Evercore did not return calls, but auctioning a mainly print business exposed to financial advertisers during a recession will be challenging.
Business Week’s advertising revenues fell by a third to $77.8m in the first half of 2009, according to the Publishers’ Information Bureau. The magazine claims a circulation of 936,000 copies and 4.8m readers.
Industry members and bankers said Time Warner’s Time Inc, publisher of Fortune, or Forbes would be unlikely to bid for a rival facing similar challenges to themselves. Condé Nast closed Portfolio , a glossy business title, in April.
However, the $1 headline price for which OpenGate bought TV Guide “is probably the kind of deal that would be obtainable for Business Week”, Mr Phillips said. “I think they’ll end up giving it away,” another banker stressed, saying its losses were in the tens of millions of dollars.
Among groups investing in print media, bankers pointed to Bloomberg, with plans to expand Bloomberg Markets, its financial magazine, and Bonnier, the acquisitive Sweden publisher.
Bloomberg would not comment, but has little record of making acquisitions. Bonnier said it favoured niche acquisitions. News Corp, owner of the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, said it was not interested.
The news came as Mary Schapiro, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, announced plans for examiners to focus on credit rating agencies such as S&P and Moody’s.
Bloomberg reports BusinessWeek, the McGraw-Hill Cos. magazine that lost 30 percent of its advertising revenue in the second quarter, is up for sale, according to a person close to the situation.
McGraw-Hill hired Evercore Partners Inc., the boutique investment bank founded by Roger Altman, to sell BusinessWeek, sources say.
The recession and competition from the Internet have cut into ad sales at BusinessWeek and competitors. Condé Nast said in April that it was closing its two-year-old Portfolio business magazine after it failed to meet revenue forecasts.
“Magazines are vulnerable to the same decline in advertising revenue that has been hitting the newspaper industry,” said Tom Corbett, a Morningstar Inc. analyst in Chicago. “Because of that, the environment for sales of magazine properties is going to be pretty challenged.”
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