It’s official: the Michael Bloomberg-owned Bloomberg LP is buying BusinessWeek for a paltry amount somewhere between $2 million and $5 million, plus all liabilities. For 80 years McGraw-Hill-owned BusinessWeek was a leading business publication in the US, but the advent of the Internet and the recent global financial crisis left it dangerously exposed and in need of new ideas. This is Bloomberg’s first acquisition. Michael Bloomberg, currently also New York City’s mayor, founded the company in 1981 on a “build, don’t buy” principle. But times change and Bloomberg LP felt it needed to venture beyond its fairly limited, albeit wildly profitable, active trader customer base into a much wider and even more influential audience made up of managing directors, senior managers, entrepreneurs and such. So when McGraw-Hill called for bids on BusinessWeek, it was never in doubt Bloomberg would be the winner. The new tie-up does make sense and should provide BusinessWeek with a bright new lease on life.
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