Possible Local Bidder Emerges At Deadline For Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Worcester Telegram & Gazette

The New York Times Co. (NYSE: NYT) is offering to sell the Boston Globe and the Worcester Telegram & Gazette in tandem but a new entrant in the bidding process may increase the potential for a split. The Globe reported over the weekend that former T&G Editor Harry Whitin and Polar Beverages CEO Ralph D. Crowley, Jr., are leading a group of Worcester businessmen interested in acquiring the the smaller member of the New Enbland Media Group. Final bids were due Friday; the Globe says it confirmed that the group led by former Globe exec Stephen Taylor, a member of the family that sold the company to NYTCo for $1.1 billion in 1993, is a bidder; no confirmation yet when it comes to Beverly Hill-based PE firm Platinum Equity. Earlier reports had the two offering $35 million for both papers plus the assumption of $59 million in pension liabilities.

No clue as to how much the Worcester group would pay for the T&G, which reported a circulation of roughly 90,000 Sunday and nearly 79,000 in the March Audit Bureau report, and for Telegram.com. NYTCo, trying to expand its New England reach, acquired the T&G in 2000 for $296 million. In a news story earlier this year, the paper cited “industry sources” who said it was profitable, unlike the Globe. Both papers have plummeted in value; early estimates for the T&G were as low as $10 million. Then again, NYTCo execs also have insisted that the papers might not be be sold at all.

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