Meredith seals $1.85B deal for Time Inc

Jon Howard
November 28, 2017

Meredith's portfolio includes 17 local television stations in 12 U.S. markets, as well as publications such as Better Homes & Gardens, Allrecipes, Parents and Shape.

Meredith made an unsuccessful bid for Time in 2013.

United States 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.

Once the two companies are merged, Meredith says they will serve almost 200 million consumers, with its digital media business reaching 170 million monthly unique visitors in the U.S. Meredith and Time Inc. made combined revenues of $4.8 billion in 2016, including $2.7 billion in total advertising revenue (with $700 million of that from digital advertising) and adjusted EBITDA of $800 million.

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The all-cash transaction includes about $1.7 billion for the company assets plus more than $1 billion in debt. Koch Equity Development, the brothers' investment firm, is putting up $650 million to receive preferred equity in the deal.

Time, which also publishes Fortune and Sports Illustrated, began looking for a buyer late past year before giving up several months later, while welcoming options. CEO and President Rich Battista said in a statement. Like other media companies, Time is focusing on moving from a print focus to a multimedia approach. 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.

Media watchdogs have expressed concern over the potential influence of the Koch brothers on Time Inc. It has traded between $9.90 and $20.40 a share over the past 52 weeks. (NYSE:TIME) that could be announced this week, Reuters reports. Time magazine responded on its own account that Trump didn't understand the selection process and several comics offered their own mocking tweets as well.

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