Deal of the week: Entrepreneur Media

This week’s highlighted deal isn’t particularly large and it probably pales in importance to Apollo Management’s collapsing agreement to buy specialty chemicals company Huntsman. But it comes at a particularly important time for Austin Ventures, which is trying to raise its 10th fund

Austin Ventures reportedly is in advanced negotiations to acquire Entrepreneur Media, an Irvine, Calif.-based media company focused on small business owners. The final due diligence is reportedly in progress, and the deal is expected to close by late July, according to some reports. The price-tag is expected to approach $200 million, with Austin joining a still-undisclosed Boston-based private equity firm on the deal.

Some limited partners of the Austin Ventures’ previous funds say that the firm’s later stage investments, including a limited number of buyouts, are far stronger than the early stage deals.

That means Austin Ventures is playing to its relative strength by going after Entrepreneur Media, which could help push a few prospective investors off the fence and into an LPA for its 10th fund.

Entrepreneur Media was founded as a newsletter in 1973 and started the magazine Entrepreneur in 1977. The monthly now boasts a circulation of 600,000. In 1996, the company launched and operates the book publishing unit Entrepreneur Press.

It reportedly has been profitable, a big part of the appeal Austin Ventures, according to some published reports.