Don Graham, the chairman and chief executive of The Washington Post Co., provided background on Monday’s landmark sale of the storied newspaper to Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos.
In an interview that ran on the Post’s website, Graham said he thought that Bezos had lost interest in a deal after he didn’t hear from the mogul for two months earlier this year.
“And I thought he had simply terminated the conversations but it turned out he was thinking about it,” Graham said. “Jeff’s a very analytical person and I’m sure he was looking over numbers and wondering whether he thought he could make the business succeed.”
Graham said that talks resumed and the deal was finalized last month.
“Jeff then reached out to me less than a month ago” Graham recalled. “We met at a conference face-to-face twice the second week in July. We spent an hour together, he asked for time to study the numbers. We then spent another two hours together and at the end of it he said that he thought he wanted to go ahead but he obviously he and his team needed time to really look over the business and understand it more thoroughly. And then, he did and we quickly reached a deal.”
Graham said that Bezos submitted the highest offer but that they had discussions with “less than a dozen” other prospective buyers. But Bezos, Graham said, was the best suitor for the Post.
“It’s pretty obvious that Jeff Bezos has a certain strength when it comes to the future of news,” Graham said.