August 8, 2009

Calif. equity firm enters Globe bidding

A California private equity firm headed by billionaire Tom Gores has entered the bidding for The Boston Globe, the newspaper says.

The Globe reported Friday that Gores, known as a corporate turn around artist who has changed the fortunes of computer modem makers and steel distributors after purchasing them, became the third bidder for the financially strapped newspaper.

Citing unnamed sources, The New York Times said Gores's firm Platinum Equity has bid $35 million for the newspaper that the Times' parent company purchased for $1.1 billion in 1993. Reportedly included in the bid was as assumption of $59 million in pension liabilities.

Platinum's bid joins others from Boston investors Stephen Taylor, whose family used to own the Globe, and Bain Capital Partners, said the Times, whose owners revealed for the first time Friday that a sale for the newspaper was under way, and also that its management threatened to close the money-losing Boston institution.

The Globe said Platinum has recently purchased the San Diego Union-Tribune, where it has reportedly replaced or laid off six of the newspaper's top eight managers and cut 18 percent, or 192 people, from its staff three days after the purchase.