Report: Eleven Potential Bidders Circling Variety

The latest news about the impending sale of Variety comes courtesy of gigaOM-paidContent senior writer Daniel Frankel. According to his source, just under a dozen groups are currently evaluating the possibility of acquiring the only Hollywood trade behind a paywall:

A Variety staff member who was briefed by management on the status of the sale told paidContent that 11 potential bidders have asked to see the deal book. He wouldn’t disclose who those bidders are…

During an RBI “investor day” presentation in the UK Thursday, CEO Mark Kelsey said that with the sale of Variety, [Reed Elsevier parent division] Reed Business Information (RBI) will have completely exited the U.S. magazine market, having divested over 150 print titles across 14 countries in 26 separate transactions, products that represented 45 percent of its portfolio as of 2008.

Variety has smartly engaged Evercore as its transaction partner. The institution previously handled the sale of Business Week and Newsweek, although FishbowlLA imagines RBI is hoping for an amount greater than what the latter deal closed for.

Speculation in Hollywood about who might be vetting Variety is rampant. One industry observer told us they wouldn’t be surprised if SnagFilms, parent company of Indiewire, turns out to be among the group of presently interested parties.