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Platinum Equity is said to bid for Boston Globe

The Beverly Hills investment firm, which recently bought the San Diego Union-Tribune, joins two Boston-area groups that have submitted offers for the newspaper, reports say.

August 09, 2009|Martin Zimmerman

Beverly Hills investment firm Platinum Equity, which recently bought the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper, has emerged as a possible buyer of the Boston Globe.

Platinum Equity has submitted a "preliminary bid" for the paper, according to a person with knowledge of the proposal. The firm is offering to pay $35 million for the paper and assume $59 million in pension liabilities, according to published reports.

The New York Times Co. said in a regulatory filing last week that it was considering putting its New England Media Group, which includes the Globe, up for sale. The company said it had hired an investment firm to help with the possible sale.

A spokesman for Platinum Equity declined to comment Saturday. The New York Times Co. could not be reached for comment.

According to published reports, two local groups have also submitted bids for the Globe. One reportedly includes Stephen Pagliuca, a co-owner of the Boston Celtics, and the other is led by a member of the family that sold the Globe to the New York Times Co. in 1993 for $1.1 billion.

Platinum Equity, which specializes in buying distressed properties, has made no secret of its interest in acquiring newspapers and other publishing properties, which have been battered by a downturn in advertising revenue caused by the recession and the loss of advertisers to the Internet.

The firm bought the Union-Tribune in May and was seen as a serious contender to buy the Austin American-Statesman in Texas until Cox Newspapers took the paper off the market last week.

Platinum Equity also has been rumored as a possible bidder for Business Week magazine.

Last month, the investment firm failed in its effort to buy bankrupt auto parts maker Delphi Corp. Its bid had the support of Delphi and the federal government, but it was opposed by creditors, who ultimately succeeded in buying the Michigan-based company.

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martin.zimmerman@ latimes.com

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