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Rating:Morningstar Founder Eyes Business Magazines Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, June 20, 2005

Morningstar Founder Eyes Business Magazines

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Morningstar founder Joe Mansueto is said to be the winning bidder in the auction for two Gruner + Jahr magazines. The New York Post reported Monday morning that Mansueto had beat out five other bidders for the Inc. and Fast Company by paying $40 million. On Friday BusinessWeek reported that Mansueto appeared to be the leading bidder for the titles.

Mansueto was in the news last month after Morningstar, the fund-tracking firm that he founded in his Chicago apartment, went public. That IPO valued Mansueto's stake in the firm at more than $500 million. For Mansueto, the deal would further diversify his personal wealth away from the financial services industry.

Mansueto is paying $40 million for the two titles, according to the Post, a bid that is said to be slightly higher than that submitted by the Economist Group, publisher of CFO Magazine. Other bidders included Time Inc., American City Business Journals, Alta Communications and Abry Partners. G+J paid more then $500 million for the two publications when it bought them in 2000. At that time, Inc. fetched $200 million Fast Company more than $300 million.

Fast Company Editor-In-Chief John A. Byrne is said to have brought Mansueto into the bidding in order to save some 100 jobs at the magazine. The other bidders planned to shutter the title that is losing "several million dollars" annually, according to the Post. Inc. is reportedly turning a $3 to $4 million annual profit.

G+J, a unit of Germany-based Bertelsmann, put the two titles on the market as part of its efforts to exit the U.S. magazine business. The titles are the last two it owns in that market after it sold Family Circle, Parents, Child, and Fitness to Meredith (MDP) for $350 million earlier this month. 

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