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Time Warner to Shed Legal Publications

Publishing: Investment firm Wasserstein Perella will acquire American Lawyer Media for about $70 million.

July 19, 1997|From Associated Press

The investment banking firm Wasserstein Perella is acquiring the American Lawyer and its sister publications from Time Warner Inc., ending five months of speculation about their future.

Ever since founder Steven Brill announced in February that partner Time Warner was buying his stake in the magazine's parent, American Lawyer Media, lawyers, judges and courthouse buffs have been waiting to see who would end up with the publications.

Time Warner had announced its intention to sell them.

The purchase does not include the Court TV cable network. Time Warner bought Brill's stake in that venture when it purchased American Lawyer and now owns it along with partners NBC and Liberty Media, the programming arm of cable's Tele-Communications Inc.

American Lawyer Media includes the American Lawyer, which Brill launched in 1979, the Counsel Connect lawyers' online service and 10 other publications.

Wasserstein Perella is paying about $70 million, according to people familiar with the deal, speaking on condition of anonymity. The price was not disclosed Friday, when the acquisition was announced.

"We plan to continue the strong editorial tradition started by Steven Brill and his team and intend to further expand the business through the development of complementary publications and services as well as acquisitions," said Randall Weisenburger, a managing director of Wasserstein Perella.

The purchase will be carried out by Cranberry Partners, an investment fund managed by Wasserstein Perella, and is expected to be completed by the end of August.

American Lawyer Media is made up of the American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel magazine, AmLaw Tech, Corporate Control Alert, New Jersey Law Journal, the Recorder, Texas Lawyer, Legal Times, Fulton County (Ga.) Daily Report, Connecticut Law Tribune, Daily Business Review and Counsel Connect.

Time Warner stock rose 38 cents to close at $50.63 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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