American Media Inc (AMI) which always seems to be embroiled in scandal, the latest of which includes allegedly paying off women to stay quiet about their alleged encounters with the current President, has an appetite for acquisitions but not enough cash to feed that appetite. In the past year the company did manage to acquire Us Weekly and Men’s Journal from Wenner Media. Company CEO David Pecker was also rumored to have kicked the tires on Time Inc but the price was too steep for his reach. Never one to simply walk away easily Mr. Pecker is said to have recently expressed interest in buying some of the former Time Inc titles currently up for sale by new owner Meredith Corp, but Meredith was not interested in selling anything to Mr. Pecker. So how exactly is Mr. Pecker able to even express interest in buying anything these days with his company reportedly in the red?
Josh Lederman and Jeff Horwitz of the Associated Press did an investigative piece on the mystery of a recent pro Saudi glossy magazine produced by AMI and whether or not AMI collaborated with Saudi officials and/or was paid to produce the magazine to help prop up the new prince ahead of his visit to the US. Or perhaps there was much more behind the effort. Mr. Pecker has had his eyes on some potential acquisition targets right on the heels of his recent takeover of Us Weekly and Men’s Journal. Everyone knows the Saudis are flushed with cash and are looking to invest in American businesses. Just ask Jay Penske at Penske Media Corp (PMC) who just got a reported $200 million cash injection from a Saudi fund. Unfortunately for AMI their pro Saudi magazine which reportedly had images in it that had nothing to do with Saudi Arabia was a dud. The magazine had a print run of 200,000 copies and was distributed across the US. The only thing that came from it was a big cloud of mystery. Josh Lederman and Jeff Horwitz asks: why would AMI spend money to produce a magazine with Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the cover. According to AMI spokesman Jon Hammond, the powers that be at AMI thought Americans would have dashed to newsstands across the country to purchase 60k copies of the magazine focused on a leader and a country most Americans know nothing about. That must have been some meeting when this thing was cooked up.
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