Bloomberg buys BusinessWeek


Three months after McGraw-Hill put BusinessWeek on the auction block, the buyer is Bloomberg LP. Terms weren’t disclosed, but the “On Media” blog by Tom Lowry on the BusinessWeek website quoted knowledgeable sources as saying the cash portion is only $2-5 million. Unknown, though, is how much Bloomberg is assuming in liabilities, including severance benefits.

“BusinessWeek will be a powerful addition to our portfolio of leading news and information services. BusinessWeek is one of the business world’s most recognized and trusted sources of news and insight, and we believe that it will be highly valued by our customers worldwide,” said Peter T. Grauer, chairman of Bloomberg LP.

The acquisition is a sharp departure for Bloomberg LP, whose founder is now Mayor of New York. Prior to now, the company had always built from scratch, rather than buy. The New York Times reported that the 80-year-old publication will be rechristened “Bloomberg BusinessWeek.”

According to Lowry’s report, recent rumors that Bloomberg would dismiss virtually the entire BusinessWeek staff and have the Bloomberg staff generate its content are unfounded. Still, there was no word on how many of the 400 staffers would be kept on. Editor-in-Chief Steve Adler assured his staff that one provision of the deal guarantees that McGraw-Hill benefits will be extended to employees for one year after the deal closes.

That closing is expected to take place in Q4.