Reported October 15, 2002
Weider Magazines Up For Sale
A recent article in the New York Times says that, according to two bankers who expect to be involved in bids, Weider Publications is up for sale. Bids began last week and, according to the piece, the auction is expected to bring several substantial offers. The Woodland Hills-based company was started in 1939 by Joe and Ben Weider, the co-founders of the Mr. Olympia contest.
Weider Publications employs about 325 people who produce seven magazines, including Men’s Fitness, Shape, Muscle & Fitness and Flex, with a total circulation of more than four million. In the article, one potential bidder, who declined to be identified, described the company as a classic special-interest publisher. He said, It has been an excellent property for a number of years. There are tons of financial players who have gotten killed in telecom, and they want to get into something that has cash flow, which Weider has.
The article says that Weider Health and Fitness, which owns the publicly traded Weider Nutrition Internationals that sells nutritional supplements, sports drinks and energy bars, will not be part of the sale. The publishing unit is estimated to have annual revenue of $130 million. One potential bidder said that the division could attract as much as $250 million but other bidders believe the current economic conditions could take the sales figure much lower.
Calls to Weider were not returned, according to the article, but potential bidders suggested the company is selling the publishing unit because Joe Weider, founder and President, is 81 years old and wants to leave publishing. Weider recently underwent treatment for a vascular condition at the renown Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio.
The mother of Mr. Olympia contender Darrem Charles was killed recently in New York, according to a source who said he got the information from Dan Soloman, Charles’ Manager. Darrem, who lives in Florida, is still scheduled to compete this weekend at the Mandalay Bay… Garrett Downing, who was beginning preparation for the IRONMAN Pro on February 15, tore the tendon from his left hamstring and underwent surgery at the University of California at San Diego. Downing says he still plans to compete in 2003… Lee Priest, at 200 pounds a week out from the Olympia, says he’s in better shape than when he won his first pro contest, the San Francisco Grand Prix, last March… Four-time defending champion Ronnie Coleman was weighing 263 five days out, and is right on the money, according to several sources… Six-time Ms. Olympia Lenda Murray, who is coming out of retirement and, ironically, being trained by Chad Nicholls, the husband of Kim Chizevsky, also looks in tremendous shape according to pre-contest pictures… Word out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is that Art Atwood, is huge and cut, and could be the surprise of the show.