And would the Times Co. sell it for less?
We may soon find out, as bids begin to trickle in for the Boston Globe, which the New York Times Co. admitted last week is on the block.
Platinum Equity, which bought the San Diego Tribune earlier this year, is offering a reported $35 million for the New England Media Group, the Globe’s parent company. According to PitchBook, the offer also includes the assumption of $59 million of pension liabilities.
Platinum joins Stephen G. Pagliuca, a co-owner of the Boston Celtics, executive at Bain Capital and civic-minded Bostonian; and Stephen E. Taylor, whose family sold the Globe to the Times.
Platinum is known to buy “distressed companies” – which could describe almost all of them in media these days.
More distressing, though, is how far the value of a Times-owned newspaper has fallen. The Times Co. paid $1.1 billion for the Globe in 1993. With the liabilities, Platinum’s bid is roughly $100 million – or $1 billion less than what the Times paid for it.
(Put another way, that’s about half of the $50 million Facebook paid for Friend Feed today.)
And, as one industry insider told me, “I would not expect the $35 mil price to hold through due diligence – it will surely come down.”