Not bidding was the team of former Gruner & Jahr USA chief J. Russell Denson, Kelso & Co. and Veronis Suhler Stevenson.
It was unclear this evening whether bids came from others mentioned in the drawn-out auction process, including Efrem "Skip" Zimbalist III, president-CEO at enthusiast publisher Active Interest Media; Elevation Partners, whose partners include U2 frontman Bono; and InterMedia Partners, which bought Primedia's outdoor-sports group last month.
The assets being sold include 18 titles under the Parenting Group and most of Time Inc.'s Time4 Media magazines, such as Field & Stream and Popular Science.
Biggest bidder wins
Despite reports of "front-runners" in the process, everything depends on money, according to several observers. "The one that's going to own this company is the one who bids the most," said one.
Every bidder has to have a contract and the money ready to close a deal if selected by Time Inc. Although the sell-off has already been significantly delayed -- this week's bids were originally due at the end of November so a deal could be completed before Jan. 1 -- the company still wants to move as quickly as possible, so expect a likely buyer to be notified within the next few days.