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Bloomberg said to be favored bidder for BusinessWeek

September 29, 2009 |  2:45 pm

McGraw-Hill Cos. favors Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP as a buyer for BusinessWeek magazine, Reuters reports today:

McGraw-Hill is leaning toward selling its money-losing BusinessWeek magazine to Bloomberg LP, although another bidder could still make a higher offer, a person familiar with the matter said.

A deal still could take weeks, or could fall apart because of depressed magazine advertising and uncertainty in the financing market; but BusinessWeek executives think that Bloomberg would be the best fit, the source said on Tuesday.

Other bidders include private equity firms OpenGate Capital and Platinum Equity, and ZelnickMedia, owned by Take Two Interactive Software Chairman Strauss Zelnick, Reuters said.

McGraw-Hill put BusinessWeek up for sale in summer, and apparently has attracted the interest of more than 90 potential buyers.

BusinessWeek media writer Tom Lowry reports on the magazine’s website today that 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."

And more from Reuters:

McGraw-Hill considers Bloomberg, a privately held provider of news and financial data, as the best buyer for BusinessWeek because it could capitalize on the marriage of two brand names well known in financial circles, the sources said.

Bloomberg owns Bloomberg Markets, a financial news magazine that produces feature stories that often run much longer than the shorter pieces on the Bloomberg newswire.

That magazine and BusinessWeek could be blended to make a title that would expand Bloomberg's presence beyond its financial data clients and reach a mainstream online audience.

-- Tom Petruno