BusinessWeek Reviews Revised Bids; Winner Could Be Announced Next Week

BusinessWeek Cover 7

The revised bids to acquire BusinessWeek from McGraw-Hill (NYSE: MHP) are in and Bloomberg appears to be in the lead, according to pieces from Reuters and BW. A decision could come as early as next week. While BW considers the branding possibilities of being aligned with Bloomberg particularly attractive, it’s not a done deal yet. At least one bidder could try a higher offer, while the volatile state of the financial markets could ultimately sink the winning bid. So even if a suitor is selected in the next several days, ironing out all the aspects of the transaction could take weeks, so the saga is far from over. Aside from Bloomberg, other bidders included private equity firm Open Gate Capital and investment firm ZelnickMedia LLC. BW’s Tom Lowry adds that there may be one other, unidentified bidder.

Myriad questions surround the deal. For example, since BW represents less than 10 percent of McGraw-Hill’s total reviews, it’s not clear whether a sale would require a vote by the board of directors. Another unknown: if the bids are high enough to cover liabilities, such as severances to penalties related to early termination of contracts.

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