(Reuters) – American Media Inc (AMI) announced Thursday that it is selling its National Enquirer tabloid to James Cohen, whose family owns a magazine distributor and owned the Hudson Airport chain of newsstands.
The National Enquirer had admitted to paying secret money to help US President Donald Trump get elected and had been accused of trying to blackmail Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
The weekly tabloid, along with two of its sister publications, will be purchased by Cohen. The Washington Post reported that the sale was for $ 100 million. The companies did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment on the price.
Cohen’s family owns an American magazine and book distributor, Hudson News Distributors. In 2008, the family sold the airport’s retail and newsstand activities to Dufry AG.
The deal comes a week after AMI said it was exploring “strategic options” for the National Enquirer as well as the Globe and National Examiner brands.
The sale is expected to reduce AMI’s debt to $ 355 million.
Last week, The New York Times reported that the owners of the National Enquirer were in talks to sell the tabloid to California billionaire Ronald Burkle.
Paul Pope, one of the heirs to National Enquirer founder Generoso Pope Jr., was also on the list of bidders, according to media reports.
Pope dropped his offer to buy the supermarket tabloid from American Media on Tuesday, The New York Post reported.
Over its 92-year history, the National Enquirer has drawn readers to supermarket queues with sensational headlines and celebrity photos. The tabloid’s website says it has an audience of 5 million people.
Earlier in February, Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon.com Inc, accused the post of attempting to blackmail him by threatening to post intimate photos. AMI defended her reporting on the Bezos affair with Lauren Sanchez, a former TV presenter.
Reporting by Arjun Panchadar and Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal; Editing by James Emmanuel and Peter Cooney