Ever since Daniel Frankel at PaidContent revealed that 11 entities were interested in looking at the Variety books, the race has been on among media watchers to identify authoritatively who those parties might be.
The New York Post today seems to have claimed these honors. Per a Page Six report:
Billionaire Ron Burkle is looking to further extend his influence in Hollywood by buying entertainment trade paper Variety, sources tell Page Six. Taking over Variety would continue supermarket magnate Burkle’s buying spree, which this year alone includes investments in industry hangout Soho House, BlackBook Media, Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media, concert-booking firm Artist Group International and UK agent Duncan Heath’s Independent Talent Group. He’s also an investor in numerous Harvey Weinstein films and Al Gore’s Current TV.
According to the Post’s unnamed sources, Burkle and a pair of Variety’s direct competitors – Nikki Finke parent company Penske Media Corporation and Sharon Waxman’s TheWrap – have been invited back to a “third round of bidding.” It’s not clear from the article whether any other bidders also remain. The item pegs the potential purchase price of the Hollywood trade as being in the high thirty-million range.
Previously on FishbowlLA:
Report: Eleven Potential Bidders Circling Variety