Perelmans shut out of "weird" bidding for PMN

Ray Perelman
Ray Perelman
Posted: February 10, 2012

CROSS another wealthy potential bidder for Philadelphia Media Network off the list.

The Associated Press reported yesterday that local philanthropist Raymond Perelman and his billionaire son, Ronald, complained in a letter to PMN's board on Wednesday that they were not being allowed to bid on the company, which owns the Daily News, Inquirer, Philly.com and SportsWeek.

"This whole thing is very weird," Raymond Perelman, 94, told the Daily News last night. "I'm not a quitter, but there's nothing else we can do. You can't make a guy do something that he doesn't want to."

PMN spokesman Mark Block said that the company had no comment on the developments.

The Associated Press first reported Perelman's interest in bidding for PMN last week, about the same time that Ed Rendell revealed that he was leading a group of local investors who wanted to buy the media company.

On Tuesday, the Daily News blog PhillyClout reported that developer Bart Blatstein had formed a company called Philly Hometown Media LLC that also wanted to buy the newspapers.

PMN released a statement that day noting that it was not negotiating with Blatstein or his investor group, which includes soda mogul Harold Honickman and Bill Harvey, a partner at the law firm Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg.

KYW reported later on radio and on its website that Evercore, the company managing the sale of PMN, had closed the first round of bidding last week before Blatstein could join the process.

Asked yesterday for his reaction to the news that the Perelmans couldn't bid for PMN, Blatstein told the Daily News: "It's shocking."

A source close to Ronald Perelman said that he reached out to PMN earlier this week to discuss his and his father's interest in buying the company.

It was unclear why they were not being allowed to join the bidding process.

It was also unclear if any investor groups other than the one being led by Rendell were a part of the bidding process.

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