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Business Mogul Mulls New Bid For Philly Newspapers

MARYCLAIRE DALE

PHILADELPHIA (AP) â¿¿ Business mogul Raymond Perelman is mulling another bid for Philadelphia's two largest newspapers, more than a year after creditors outbid him at a bankruptcy auction.

Perelman bid $129 million, mostly cash, for The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com at the September 2010 auction. Earlier this week, the New York Post reported that Philadelphia Media Network was again in play because two hedge funds want to sell their stakes.

The 94-year-old Perelman said Friday that he's looking at the situation but conceding that the newspaper industry is "deteriorating."

"I think Philadelphia should have a newspaper, but how far do you go to do that, you know? That's the key question," he said. "At the right price and the right situation, it would happen. But at a price that's really high, you have to think about it."

Philadelphia Magazine, meanwhile, reported that former Gov. Ed Rendell, a former Philadelphia mayor, is also interested. His spokeswoman didn't return a message Friday.

Perelman, whose wealth comes from manufacturing, mining and financial concerns, together with his late wife has donated $225 million to the University of Pennsylvania medical school and made sizable gifts to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and other causes. His son, Revlon Inc. Chairman Ronald O. Perelman, joined him in the 2010 newspaper bid.

The Post reported earlier this week that Alden Global Capital hoped to sell the company for $100 million and cash out its 30 percent stake. On Friday, the Post said another key stakeholder, Angelo Gordon, also wants to cash out. The newspaper reported that Evercore Partners, a New York investment bank, has been hired to handle the sale. Evercore, through an external spokeswoman, declined to comment Friday.

Philadelphia Media Network officials aren't commenting on the reported sale, spokesman Mark Block said Friday.

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