Will Lazard's Bruce Wasserstein buy BusinessWeek?


BusinessWeek reports that potential bidders have emerged for BusinessWeek. And who are the clever folks considering a bid for this money-losing property? There appear to be two interested parties. One is OpenGate Capital, a Los Angeles private equity firm that in October 2008 purchased TV Guide magazine (without its Web operations) for $1 plus the assumption of substantial liabilities. The other? Bruce Wasserstein, who owns The Deal and New York Magazine, and also serves as Lazard Ltd. (LAZ) CEO.

BusinessWeek is a big money loser. It lost $20 million on revenues of $147 million in 2008, and slightly smaller losses are projected in 2009 on revenue of around $135 million. But when you include rent and certain infrastructure-related costs, the total loss figure doubles. I don't know how you make a return by buying a shrinking business that loses $40 million a year.