Five parties express interest in Jewish Times, Style magazine sale

Five investor groups or companies, including The Baltimore Sun's publisher, have either expressed interest in or submitted bids for the owner of the Baltimore Jewish Times and Style Magazine, according to the general manager of Alter Communications Inc., which is now up for sale under a bankruptcy trustee.

Alter filed for Chapter 11 reorganization two years ago, and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court last week appointed a trustee, who said the court could select a buyer next week.

Linda Yurche, Alter's general manager, said that Timothy J. Thomas, senior vice president of business development for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, was among several parties that have reviewed Alter's financial records. She declined to name the other parties.

Thomas declined to comment Tuesday.

WJW Group LLC of Rockville, which publishes Washington Jewish Week, has submitted a bid, according to the bankruptcy trustee. And a group of investors led by Dr. Scott Rifkin of Owings Mills, managing partner of Mid-Atlantic Health Care LLC, also has bid, Rifkin said.

Rifkin said his group of about six investors, including David Nevins, president of Nevins & Associates, a Hunt Valley marketing and public relations agency, and his brother, Alan Rifkin, one of Maryland's top lobbyists, made their bid on Tuesday. Rifkin said it was just over $400,000.

Bankruptcy trustee Zvi Guttman said Monday that WJW Group's bid was about $400,000, or roughly the amount owed to the creditor who is first in line to get paid, Wells Fargo.

Alter's chief executive officer, Andrew Alter Buerger, on Monday estimated that the company would sell for between $400,000 and $600,000.

Owned by the Chicago-based Tribune Co., which also is in Chapter 11, the Baltimore Sun Media Group publishes The Sun and the Sun website, baltimoresun.com, community newspapers and magazines.