Platinum Equity Buys Publishing Software Maker

Platinum Equity, Beverly Hills-based private equity firm that owns the Union-Tribune, has bought Denver's Quark, a software company that revolutionized magazine and newspaper industries with page layout software for desktop computers. Under previous management, the U-T had been slow adapting this technology. Quark's software facilitates publication of content for tablet, web, mobile, and social media platforms. Quark has lost much of its market share to software maker Adobe Systems. Terms were not disclosed.

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If Platinum is going to move in a direction of consolidating many newspapers under its ownership and a single editorial center, this may be a natural. Instead of paying Quark a king's ransom in licensing fees every year, that puts them in the spot of being the king, and receiving the revenue.

The scenario you suggest is possible. I do not believe, however, that Platinum would want to take over several Southern California papers -- maybe the Orange County Register, with financial help from Tom Gores's brother. Or Platinum would be a part owner of a combination of Southern California papers. Best,, Don Bauder

Visduh said what I thought - that buying Quark was a strategic move based on its interest in media.

I, too, think it was probably a strategic move. If Southern California papers combine in some way -- possibly not under joint ownership -- the Quark acquisition would be helpful to Platinum. Best, Don Bauder

I don't know what pre-press publishing system Platinum sprang for when it bought the U-T, but the Register and the L.A. Times use customized variants of a system sold by a Danish company called CCI. That seems to make it less likely that Quark would be part of a consolidation play.

The usefulness of Quark in some kind of consolidation would depend on how many papers would be combined, I would think. Best, Don Bauder

OCO, welcome aboard buddy!

Stop in every now and then, you will like Don's articles.

Would my screeds make it in Orange County? I wonder. Best, Don Bauder

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