By: Mark Fitzgerald
Manhattan Media parent Isis Venture Partners closed on its acquisition of Dan’s Papers Friday afternoon, and installed the Hamptons weekly’s founder, Dan Rattiner, as president and editor in chief.
As reported earlier, the federal judge overseeing the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Brown Publishing Co. approved Isis Venture’s bid of $1.75 million for the publication. Isis was the high bidder for the newspaper in a second auction held Monday after it became apparent that a trio of Brown Publishing insiders headed by CEO Roy Brown were unable to get financing for their $22.4 million bid for substantially all of the chain’s dailies, weeklies and business journals.
Lou Phelps of Phelps, Cutler & Associates advised Isis Ventures on the transaction.
“We managed to extract what I call a gem,” Richard Burns, chairman of Manhattan Media and general partner of Isis Ventures, said in a phone interview Friday. “Dan’s Papers has consistently been profitable even under Brown’s management.”
Burns said the weekly for the Hamptons in New York fits well with its Avenue magazine, an upscale New York City magazine. “I hate the word ‘synergy,’ but there clearly are synergies here. The crowd in the Hamptons has a big overlap with the crowd in the city,” Burns said.
Rattiner, who founded the paper 50 years ago, will be a big presence in the community as president and editor in chief, Burns said. “Community publishing is all about local knowledge, character, being present and understanding your readers and clients,” he said. “Dan’s Papers has all of that and a remarkable community leader in the person of Dan Rattiner himself.”