The New York Post is reporting that Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman, former NBA player and featured on the Black Enterprise BE 100s list of the nation’s largest black businesses, may be buying Sports Illustrated.
From The New York Post:
There is buzz that former NBA star Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman is closing in on a deal to buy Sports Illustrated from Meredith.
If a deal comes to pass, Bridgeman will have beaten out a group headed by Joshua Pollack that includes Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, motivational speaker Tony Robbins and Hollywood producer Peter Guber, who is a part-owner of the Golden State Warriors.
Bridgeman played 12 years in the National Basketball Association (NBA)–10 years for the Milwaukee Bucks and two years for the Los Angeles Clippers.
He is the founder and former CEO of Manna Inc. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, the quick-service restaurants holding company earned revenues of $511 million in 2010. His company has been a fixture on Black Enterprise’s BE 100s listing of the country’s most successful black businesses. He was listed as one of the top 20 “Richest Black Americans,” by Forbes.
Since that time, his son has taken over at Manna Inc. The company operates 160 Wendy’s Restaurants in five states and 103 Chili’s Restaurants in seven states. In addition to multiple Hall of Fame honors as a basketball standout, including induction into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, Bridgeman has earned numerous awards as a business leader, including Wendy’s Founder’s Award and induction into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame.
If the purchase is completed, Bridgeman is set to join an elite set of black media moguls that includes Oprah Winfrey; SheaMoisture founder Richelieu Dennis, who bought Essence Communications from Time Inc. in January; and Byron Allen, who acquired The Weather Channel into his media empire.
The New York Post also reports that Meredith turned down an offer of $375 million from the company that owns The National Enquirer for four of its properties: Sports Illustrated, Time, Fortune, and Money. Meredith expects each magazine to sell for more than $200 million.
Watch Black Enterprise’s past coverage on Bridgeman:
-Editor’s Note: Raynard Jackson, Alfred Edmond Jr., and Selena Hill contributed to this report.