In the four days since Wenner Media LLC put Rolling Stone magazine up for sale, the chance to buy a majority stake in the iconic rock ‘n roll periodical has drawn “robust” interest from “a large number” of media companies, publishers and billionaire investors, said a source with knowledge of the talks.
Roughly 25 entities are likely to agree to sign a non-disclosure agreement to gain access to documents detailing the finances and business contracts related to the 50-year-old magazine, closely held by Jann Wenner and his family, the source said.
The price for the 51% stake in Rolling Stone held by Wenner Media could reach as high as $80 million, Peter Kreisky, of New York’s Kreisky Media Consultancy LLC, said earlier this week. Wenner Media sold a 49% stake in Rolling Stone for $40 million last year to Singapore’s BandLab Technologies in a deal focused solely on the magazine’s international distribution rather than its U.S. operations.
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Interested parties include media conglomerates, magazine publishers and about 15 billionaire investors. Initial inquiries have focused on evaluating the magazine’s brand, its business prospects and the role its foreign partner, BandLab, a music technology company controlled by Meng Ru Kuok, the 28-year-old son of palm oil billionaire Kuok Khoon Hong. Some have expressed interest in buying out BandLab as well as the Wenners’ stake in the magazine.