First round bids are due for Wenner Media’s Rolling Stone magazine this Friday but the magazine is not expected to get a bid from billionaire investor Edgar Bronfman Jr who tried and failed to acquire Time Inc for nearly $2 billion earlier this year. See, Rolling Stone is too small of a fish for Bronfman. But that doesn’t mean the iconic brand isn’t attracting other billionaires. When it was first announced that the magazine was for sale, it was reported that 15 billionaires immediately expressed interest. The magazine is said to have also caught the attention of Todd Boehly, who already owns music media staples like Billboard, and the Vibe and Spin Web sites. Obviously landing Rolling Stone would complete his already impressive music magazine collection. According to the NY Post, in addition to Mr. Boehly, 30 other potential bidders have looked over the books for Rolling Stone. But it isn’t clear how many of them will actually submit bids. A major turnoff for some may be the 49% of Rolling Stone they won’t own. That stake is owned by Singapore’s BandLab Technologies which acquired it over a year ago with plans to launch an international edition of the magazine. There is no word on whether or not BandLab Technologies is willing to include their 49% stake in the sale. Anyone who acquires Wenner’s 51% stake won’t have global control of the brand because BandLab holds Rolling Stone’s 12 international licenses. So any new owner will be limited to North America.
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