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8 Publishers Interested in CBS Magazine Unit

November 10, 1986|PAUL RICHTER | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — An unannounced auction of the CBS magazine division has brought expressions of interest from at least eight U.S. and foreign publishing concerns and may culminate in a deal within days, publishing sources say.

Among the potential purchasers, they said, are a management group led by Peter A. Derow, recently dismissed president of the magazine unit; book publisher Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; German publisher Bertelsmann A.G.; Hearst Publications and Gannett Co. "Things are moving rapidly now," one source said.

A CBS spokesman declined comment on the report. A company source, while insisting that a sale is not likely, acknowledged that the company has listened to bids for the property.

Industry sources say the division could fetch between $400 million and $600 million. The magazine group publishes Modern Bride, Car & Driver, Woman's Day and Stereo Review.

Laurence A. Tisch, acting CBS chief executive, "may not be formally looking for bids, but at a price, anything is for sale," said John Reidy, an analyst with Drexel Burnham Lambert in New York.

CBS must strike a deal before year's end to qualify for tax benefits that will be eliminated by the federal tax reform law, he said.

Derow and officials of the publishing firms did not return calls seeking comment.

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