Red Sox owner John Henry has decided to offer to buy The Boston Globe on his own, after his sports investment group dropped out of the process more than a week ago, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Henry previously submitted a bid for the Globe through New England Sports Network, which is 80 percent owned by his Fenway Sports Group. The other 20 percent is controlled by Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs. But NESN is no longer involved in the process, people close to the secretive bidding process said — leaving Henry to bid as an individual.
The New York Times Co. is selling the Globe and its websites, BostonGlobe.com and Boston.com, along with the rest of the New England Media Group. In addition to Henry, others pursuing a purchase include local and West Coast investors.
Former Time Inc. chief executive Jack Griffin leads one local group, joined by Ben and Steve Taylor, cousins whose family sold the Globe to the Times Co. in 1993. Also bidding is Robert Loring of Revolution Capital in Los Angeles, which owns the Tampa Tribune. In addition, Douglas Manchester, owner of the U-T San Diego newspaper, has said he is in the running.
Springfield television station owner John Gormally remains interested, too, according to people briefed on his plans. And Boston businessmen Jack Connors, John Fish, and Steve Weiner — who previously had been negotiating with the Taylor group — are pursuing their own bid or talking about aligning with other groups, according to people involved in the process.
Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan has been working on a bid with a group of investors that would entail taking the Globe pension liability back from the Times Co. and giving employees part ownership in the new company.
Potential buyers have been barred by the Times Co. and its investment bankers from publicly discussing their bids. The Times Co. declined to comment on when the winning bid will be announced.
In addition to the Globe and its websites, the Times Co. is selling the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and its website. It is also selling the Globe’s direct mail marketing business and a 49 percent interest in Metro Boston.