WHAT'S NEXT?: Though billionaire Ron Burkle may have satisfied his temporary yearning for media expansion with his recent acquisition of Primedia's Enthusiast titles, he could still have his eye on another one, according to several media analysts. On Monday, Source Interlink Cos., which Burkle controls as a part of his investment firm Yucaipa Cos., said it would acquire Primedia's Enthusiast Media division, a collection of 70 titles including Motor Trend, Hot Rod and Surfer, for $1.2 billion. But the New York Post reported May 3 that Yucaipa Cos. also has its eye on the debt-ridden American Media Inc., home of Star, Shape and Men's Fitness.
Analysts believe there could be incentives to merging AMI's assets with Yucapia's media holdings, which are said to include culture bimonthly start-up — for the third time — Radar.
For one, AMI's Distribution Services Inc. is one of the largest magazine distribution companies and would fit well with Source Interlink, a distributor of magazines, electronics and DVDs. Many of AMI's other assets are challenged — Star, for example — and the company is saddled with more than $1 billion in debt. But analysts say now that Primedia's assets are a part of Source, AMI would become a smaller part of the portfolio, lessening AMI's financial impact on Source's overall bottom line.