Did first phase for Philly papers sale end last week?

Philly.com
Mike Armstrong reports that a group hoping to bid on the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com may be too late. Real estate developer Bart Blatstein announced his interest in the possible purchase Monday, which Philly.com initially reported and then dismissed. Now, Armstrong writes, “it is unclear whether” Blatstein’s group “will be able to participate in the bidding process” being managed by investment company Evercore Partners. “According to some reports, prospective bidders had until Feb. 2 to submit letters of interest,” says Armstrong. If that’s true, then the initial phase essentially ended the same day it was confirmed that Evercore was handling the potential sale on behalf of private equity owners Alden Global Capital and Angelo, Gordon, who each own about 30 percent of Philadelphia Media Network. The following day, former Governor Ed Rendell acknowledged that he is leading a group interested in exploring the purchase. Previous bidder Raymond Perelman has expressed interest as well, but it’s unclear whether he submitted a letter in time.

Correction: This post originally stated that Blatstein announced his interest on Tuesday.

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