Affiliates of Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Johnson Publishing Company “were unable to reach a definitive agreement” in a business deal that would have allowed the former basketball star to own a controlling stake in the family-owned company, Journal-isms.com reported.
Talks of the HIV-activist’s interest in buying the publishing company, which owns Ebony and Jet magazines, came from a statement released by Eric Holomon, president Of Johnson’s Los Angeles- based company.
Johnson Publishing Co. later released a statement saying that Linda Johnson Rice, chairman and chief executive officer of Johnson Publishing, “has never talked to Magic Johnson with respect to his interest in buying” the company.
“I would like to salute Linda Johnson Rice and the Johnson family for pioneering the iconic brand of the Johnson Publication Company, which we have all come to love and respect,” Magic said in a statement. “Ebony and Jet have been permanent fixtures on coffee tables in African-American homes for many years.”
Magic later added that although affiliates of his Magic Johnson Enterprises and Johnson Publishing Company could not come to a definitive agreement, “we will continue to look for opportunities to invest in African-American media.”
“Our team of advisers have continued to explore a wide range of options to leverage our iconic Ebony and Jet brands and sustain our leadership position in the marketplace as the No. 1 African-American owned publishing company in the world,” Johnson Publishing spokeswoman, Wendy E. Parks said in a statement to Journal-isms.com. “As a privately held company, we are unable to discuss our discussions with potential partners.”