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Primedia puts up for sale

The Internet site is on the block, and Web notables including Google, Yahoo and Ask Jeeves plan to bid on it.

Primedia, the publishing company owned by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, has put the Web site on the block, and five companies plan to bid on it, according to executives close to the auction.

Final bids are due Tuesday, and the asking price is $350 million to $500 million, they said.

The bidders that plan to submit final offers Tuesday are Google, Yahoo, The New York Times Company, the AOL unit of Time Warner and Ask Jeeves, the executives said. The auction process has been under way for at least a month and is being managed by Goldman Sachs, the executives said.

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Spokesmen for Google, Yahoo, the Times Company and Ask Jeeves declined to comment. Spokesmen for Primedia and AOL could not be reached for comment.

The sale would be a further dismantling of the original vision of Primedia, which was established in 1989 with the financial support of KKR. It has grown into a leading owner of niche publications, like Power Trend magazine, as well as Internet and television properties, but has sold off assets like New York and Seventeen magazines., bought by Primedia in October 2000 for $690 million in stock, was envisioned as a primary link among the company's many print publications, Web sites, newsletters and video programs. It offers a network of about 475 Web sites on a range of topics.

The acquisition of was the vision of Thomas S. Rogers, the former chief executive of Primedia, who has since resigned. was formed in 1996 as the Mining Co.

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