Ziff Going to Sell

Ziff Davis is going to sell, and MIN puts the buyer as Insight Venture Partners, with whom everyone who pays attention to these things knows that Ziff has been in touch for a long time.

One big pressure to close the deal is the debt already on Ziff's books. Ziff will have to find financing for that debt if no deal is reached soon. If IVP leverages the company even more -- adding more debt -- that will be a tough choice. It takes a lot of operational mojo to generate the cash to finance debt, and the company's already gone through rounds of layoffs and cutbacks.

While Ziff has had some recent success online, magazines in the tech space have been struggling to find ad dollars as coverage increasingly fragments among highly targeted Web sites and blogs.

It's a difficult equation for Ziff, and for Ziff owners Willis-Stein, an investment firm that's not about media (Ziff is their only current media investment) and which had, it's rumored, planned to buy and then sell the company at a profit years ago, instead of what will likely be a loss or break even at best.

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