Time Inc Sold to Meredith Corp in Deal Bankrolled by Koch Brothers


The Journal reported that Iowa-based Meredith has agreed to pay $18.50 a share in cash - a 46% premium from Time's stock at the time acquisition talks were first reported on November 15.

In 2013, a similar bid by Meredith fell through because the company did not want to take on some of Time's most popular titles, including Time, Sports Illustrated and Fortune.

"We are creating a premier media company serving almost 200 million American consumers across industry-leading digital, television, print, video, mobile and social platforms positioned for growth", said Meredith Corporation chairman and CEO Stephen Lacy. Meredith will pay $18.50 per share of the publicly traded Time Inc.

Rothschild & Co.'s renewed push in the U.S.is getting a boost from the Koch brothers.

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.

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"We think there's tremendous untapped potential", Time CEO Rich Battista told The New York Times about why the company was turning away potential suitors. She said investing in financially troubled print media doesn't make any sense as a business decision - only as a means to influence coverage. The companies in which it has announced investments are fairly low profile, such as Guardian, a leading manufacturer of glass products, and ADT/Protection One, the home security company. He said that while he does plan to eliminate $400 million to $500 million in costs from the combined companies, he doesn't expect to cut newsroom budgets.

Meredith's best-known brands include Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens.

"Clearly, the editorial functions, the creative activities, are always sacred because that's where you generate the 25% of the revenue, from circulation, which we count on in good times and in bad", Lacy said.

The publisher of Time, People and Sports Illustrated agreed Sunday to be sold to another big magazine publisher, Meredith.

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.