G&J and Fast Company close to a deal

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"Right now, there is no deal," said Linda Lewi, Fast Company's chief marketing officer, concerning discussions between Gruner & Jahr USA Publishing and FC owner Mort Zuckerman over the New Economy title. But negotiations were heated going into the weekend, and signs of a pending sale ranged from one top G&J exec's canceled pre-holiday vacation to a FC staffer's explanation why co-founder and part-owner Alan Webber was unavailable much of Friday: "There's lots of contract stuff going on."

An announcement of the deal could come as early as this week. One exec cited a possible price around $225 million - rich for a magazine expected to post 2000 profits between $10 million to $12 million on revenues of $50 million to $70 million. A G&J spokeswoman declined comment.

For Gruner & Jahr, Boston-based Fast Company would neatly fit with recently-acquired small-business title Inc.--also based in Boston--to round out a business category, which would draw both men and upscale, youthful consumers into a portfolio of titles that skew heavily female, like Child and Family Circle. New Gruner & Jahr CEO Dan Brewster was charged, upon taking the reins of the company in June, to double its size within five years.

Copyright December 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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