Groups File Bids For Tabloid Top Publishing Firms Vying For `Enquirer`
By DAVID ALTANER, Business Writer
February 17, 1989
Some of the top publishing companies in the world reportedly have submitted bids for the National Enquirer, along with two groups of employees of the weekly tabloid newspaper.
The Lantana-based publication and its sister newspaper, the Weekly World News, were put up for sale after the death last year of its longtime publisher, Generoso Pope.
A spokeswoman for Diamandis Group, which publishes Elle, Car and Driver, and Woman`s Day, confirmed that the publishing group submitted a bid, but would give no other information. New York City-based Diamandis is owned by Hachette SA, a $3.8 billion French firm that publishes Paris Match and 80 other publications worldwide.
Also submitting a bid was Maxwell Communications, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company owns The Mirror newspaper in London and Macmillan Inc., the giant U.S. publishing company. A spokeswoman for Maxwell would not comment on the report.
Time Inc. also considered bidding for the newspapers, according to the Journal, but a company spokesman would not comment. Also reportedly interested is Heinrich Bauer, a West German publisher who is preparing to launch a woman`s magazine in the United States.
Two employee-led groups also made bids, according to the Journal. The newspaper`s editor, Iain Calder, leads one group. And Pope`s son, Paul, leads a group of employees making a bid through an employee stock ownership plan. Pope was out of the office on Thursday, and a spokeswoman for Calder declined comment.
The Journal quoted anonymous sources who estimated that the bid prices might range from $300 million to $600 million. A spokesman for the trustee for the estate would not return phone calls. A representative of the trustee previously had said that a decision would be made in the spring.
The Enquirer, sold mostly in supermarket racks, highlights news about celebrities and health. The weekly tabloid publication has a circulation of about 4.3 million.