Meredith to buy Time for $3.8b in all-cash transaction

Ann Santiago
November 28, 2017

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. It was one of a handful of bidders that made competing offers for Time earlier this year, but the deal was scrapped.

It is clear that Time's numbers have been continually declining in the past few years, as the media group has missed their financial goals in six straight quarters.

The Paris-based investment bank has been hired at least three times in the past two years to represent a firm owned by billionaires Charles and David Koch, including Sunday's agreement to back Meredith Corp.'s $1.8 billion cash bid for Time Inc.

As it turns out, the Koch brothers are contributing more than that.

Media watchdogs have expressed concern over the potential influence of the Koch brothers on Time Inc.

The Koch brothers have spent decades building a network of wealthy political donors who pledge money to conservative causes and their advocacy groups.

Koch Equity Development will not have a seat on the board nor influence editorial operations, the company said. This was the third time Meredith attempted to acquire Time since 2013. It also runs 17 local news stations in 12 markets.

Meredith said the first two years after the acquisition are expected to generate cost synergies of $400 million to $500 million, which is probably not reassuring to Time Inc. employees considering its multiple layoff rounds this year.

Meredith brings with it a magazine portfolio that includes Better Homes & Gardens, Family Circle, allrecipes and Shape, while Time Inc. owns properties including Time, Sports Illustrated, People, Fortune and Entertainment Weekly.

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