Tags: John Catsimatidis | daily news | sale | purchase | Gristedes

Billionaire John Catsimatidis May Buy NY Daily News: Report

Image: Billionaire John Catsimatidis May Buy NY Daily News: Report
Businessman, Owner, President, Chairman, and CEO of Gristedes Foods John A. Catsimatidis. (Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 03 Mar 2015 08:06 AM

A former New York City mayoral candidate who is the billionaire owner of the New York grocery chain Gristedes reportedly is interested in buying the New York Daily News, according to The New York Times.

John Catsimatidis had lunch with Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman a few weeks back, where the topic of discussion was Catsimatidis' interest in the tabloid. Then last week, Zuckerman sent a memo to his staff informing them that he has retained a financial advisory firm after being "approached about our potential interest in selling the Daily News," Politico reports.

"I have not come to this decision easily," Zuckerman wrote in the memo. "But I believe the immense hard work in turning the business around in an extremely challenging period for the industry, has put the Daily News in as strong a position than it has ever been, particularly online.

"I appreciate that this news is difficult for you to digest. But I want to reassure you that my aim throughout this process will be to do the right thing for the business to ensure the Daily News and its brilliant staff have the best opportunity to achieve all our future ambitions."

When contacted by the Times, Catsimatidis did not deny his interest, saying instead that "it’s a great asset to New York, it deserves to live, but it’s a long way between today and Tipperary."

Catsimatidis added that he is bound by a confidentiality agreement not to discuss a potential sale.

The Times also reported that the owner of Newsday and the New York Knicks, James Dolan, has also expressed interest in the Daily News.

The 66-year-old, Greek-born Catsimatidis is no stranger to headlines.

He ran in 2013 to become the Big Apple’s Republican Party nominee, but lost to former Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joe Lhota, who ultimately lost to Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat.

That same year, the Daily News reported that Catsimatidis settled an overtime pay dispute brought by Gristedes supermarket workers who sued him for unpaid overtime.

Catsimatidis had to pay workers $3.5 million, a deal reached in a 2009 settlement, plus more than $4.5 million in legal fees to lawyers of the employees who sued the supermarket chain.

The Daily News at the time reported Catsimatidis’ net worth as $3 billion, but said he "fought the workers tooth and nail on every aspect of the overtime case, arguing that they have been trying to ruin his business."

Catsimatidis is a generous political contributor, according to Politico, who reports that since 2011 he has donated $435,500 to candidates from both major parties. More recently, he has hosted private dinners for Republican presidential hopefuls Rick Perry and Scott Walker at Manhattan’s "21" Club.

The Daily News is struggling with profit margins like most other newspapers today, the Times reports, having seen its circulation — once over a million — cut in half. The most recent figures, from September, showed a weekday circulation of 427,452 and a Sunday circulation of 558,057.

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John Catsimatidis, the billionaire owner of the New York grocery chain Gristedes, reportedly is interested in buying the New York Daily News, according to The New York Times.
John Catsimatidis, daily news, sale, purchase, Gristedes
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2015-06-03
Tuesday, 03 Mar 2015 08:06 AM
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