Billionaire Ron Burkle, Hollywood showbiz site The Wrap, and the parent company of Nikki Finke's Deadline are all having a look at the trade paper, according to the NY Post's Page Six.
Sources say that Burkle, Waxman and Penske have all been invited back to a "third round of bidding," along with other potential buyers, for the 107-year-old Variety -- and that the price is currently "in the upper $30 millions." The trade paper, being sold off by Reed Business Information, was estimated to be worth about $100 million in 2008, but The Post reported its valuation has since dipped sharply. A source familiar with the offering explained the process whereby potential buyers give their pitches and are then "invited back" for each additional round of bidding.
Burkle has an itch for Hollywood, having acquired stakes in Ryan Kavanaugh's Relativity Media and concert-booking firm Artist Group - as well as helping finance several Harvey and Bob Weinstein films. He's also a frequent tire kicker on available properties so who knows where this will lead. Who also knows the source(s) leaking this information to the Post and their motivations.