Firm denies report that Penguins co-owner Burkle could buy National Enquirer |

Firm denies report that Penguins co-owner Burkle could buy National Enquirer

Bob Bauder
Pittsburgh Penguins owners Ron Burkle, at right, and Mario Lemieux ride along Grant Street in the Stanley Cup victory parade in Downtown on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. Pittsburgh Penguins owners Ron Burkle, at right, and Mario Lemieux ride along Grant Street during a Stanley Cup victory parade in Downtown Pittsburgh on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. Burkle is reportedly negotiating a purchase of the National Enquirer tabloid.

A spokesman for an investment firm founded and headed by Ron Burkle is denying a report by the New York Times that the Penguins co-owner is negotiating a deal to purchase The National Enquirer tabloid.

“I can confirm we are not in talks to buy the Enquirer,” Frank J. Quintero, spokesman for The Yucaipa Companies, told the Tribune-Review.

The New York Times citing “two people with direct knowledge of the negotiations” reported that Burkle was in “deep” negotiations with American Media Inc., which owns The National Enquirer, but “the deal could still fall apart.”

The story prompted social media skepticism and speculation.

David J. Pecker, American Media’s chief executive, reportedly paid $150,000 for a story from a Playboy model who claimed she had an affair with President Trump, but never published it in an attempt to aid Trump’s presidential campaign.

Burkle reportedly invested $20 million in the Penguins when he and Mario Lemieux, along with dozens of minority owners, bought the franchise out of bankruptcy in 1999 for $107 million.

Forbes estimated late last year that the hockey franchise was worth $650 million. It estimated Burkle’s net worth at $1.5 billion, according to Forbes.

Bob Bauder is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bob at 412-765-2312, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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