NEW YORK – Greek-American billionaire entrepreneur John Catsimatidis is reported by the New York Post “to be the mystery suitor negotiating to buy the embattled Daily News from Mort Zuckerman.”
Sources close to the situation said he has been negotiating the deal for about a month and its successful conclusion “is by no means guaranteed.”
Catsimatidis, who finished second in the 2013 Republican primary for mayor, is best known as the owner of the Gristedes supermarket chain, but in the Greek-American community he has distinguished himself as an Archon, past vice chairman of the Archdiocesan Council, the founder and co-publisher with his wife, Margo, of the Hellenic Times, and as one of the co-founders of the Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund.
He has attracted a steady stream of movers and shakers to his New York-based CATS Roundtable Radio show (970 AM) that airs at Sunday mornings at 9AM.
According to the Post, “Zuckerman last week acknowledged that he had retained [investment bank] Lazard to test the market after receiving an unsolicited buyout overture from an undisclosed suitor. The paper is said to have revenues of around $175 million a year and losses estimated to be between $20 million and $30 million. A new owner would also have to come to terms with the trade unions.”
Zuckerman and his then-partner Fred Drasner had bought the paper for about $36 million. The Post reported that “most of that price tag was in assumed liabilities.”