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Chilly economic waters thwart potential sale of AntiqueWeek

KNIGHTSTOWN, Ind. – An unpredictable economy has apparently quashed a deal that would have resulted in new ownership of the antiques trade newspaper AntiqueWeek.

AntiqueWeek publisher Richard Lewis told Auction Central News that executives of the publication, which is owned by London-based dmg world media, had received an unsolicited offer to purchase the periodical but that the deal is now officially dead.

“Given the crazy economic times…everyone started panicking,” Lewis said. “This deal was not immune to [that]. The buyer got cold feet.”

Lewis said the offer received several weeks ago was a favorable one, and described the would-be buyer as “a good, reputable business.” However, Lewis said, the buyer wanted to proceed at a reduced price, which dmg world media rejected.

On Oct. 6, 2008, Lewis had advised employees that dmg’s three antiques-related titles produced in the Knightstown plant, as well as a fourth title published on site – the agricultural special interest weekly Farm World – were under offer and expected to be sold. Lewis said at that time that the sale hopefully would be finalized in 30 to 45 days and that he would be staying on as publisher.

At the same meeting, Lewis announced that dmg had already sold its British antiques trade newspaper, the Antiques Trade Gazette, but did not reveal the buyer’s name. In an Oct. 6, 2008 posting, Auction Central News identified the publication’s new owner as a group consisting of four members of ATG‘s senior management: Anne Somers (managing director), Mark Bridge (editor-in-chief), Simon Berti (sales director) and Pablo Luppino (finance director).

Publication of AntiqueWeek will remain “business as usual,” Lewis told ACN, adding, “We’re not actively selling it.”

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