SI's parent company Time will be bought by Meredith

28 November, 2017, 01:32 | Author: Gary Shelton
  • Time Inc. nearing sale to company backed by Koch brothers: report

U.S. media company Meredith Corp said on Sunday it will buy Time Inc, the publisher of Sports Illustrated and Fortune magazines, in a $1.84 billion allcash deal backed by conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

Investors sent stocks of both Time Inc. and Meredith up Monday, after the companies' announcement Sunday evening that Meredith reached an agreement to acquire Time Inc.

The magazines now published by Meredith are not highly circulated, as their current line-up includes niche publications such as Better Homes and Gardens, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and Traditional Home. On Friday, Time shares closed at $16.90.

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The primary focus of the Kochs' activism is free market economics, limited government, and lowered taxes. Meredith approached Time again earlier this year, but those discussions also stalled when Meredith reportedly failed to secure enough bank financing for the acquisition. Once part of Time Warner Inc, Time Inc was spun out as a separate unit in 2014 after talks to merge the division with Meredith collapsed.

Meredith's deal is backed by $650 million from Koch Equity Development, the investment arm of Koch Industries, an industrial conglomerate rooted in the oil and gas business.

The deal gives Meredith, publisher of Better Homes & Gardens, a larger audience at a time when publishers need to get bigger to compete with Facebook and Google in advertising.

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Meredith executives said that no one affiliated with the Kochs will have a seat on the company's board and that there will be "no influence" exerted by the billionaire brothers on the magazines' editorial content.

In May of this year, Time Inc announced plans to sell some magazines or other properties as it tried to push ahead with a digital strategy. "We look forward to completing the transaction; welcoming the Time Inc. employees to Meredith; delivering on our pledge to achieve identified synergies; and growing shareholder value".

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