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November 28, 2017

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Time selling for US$2.8b to media firm

TIME Inc is selling for US$2.8 billion to media conglomerate Meredith Corporation, which is backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, who are known for supporting conservative causes.

Time, which also publishes its eponymous magazine, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated, began looking for a buyer late last year before giving up several months later, while welcoming options.

Meredith had expressed interest in buying Time earlier this year, then walked away because it could not secure the necessary financing.

Time revealed in October an aggressive plan to boost revenue that included focusing less on magazine journalism and more on digital activities.

Time Inc was spun off from media and entertainment giant Time Warner, which was seeking to shed its journalism assets.

Meredith’s offer is for US$18.50 per Time share, up about 10 percent from the shares’ closing price of US$16.90 on Friday. Share prices rose over the past week on speculation over the purchase.

The boards of both companies have approved the transaction, which is due to be finalized in the first semester of 2018, Meredith said in a statement.

The all-cash transaction includes about US$1.7 billion for the company assets plus more than US$1 billion in debt.

Among the funds financing the purchase are US$650 million from Koch Equity Development, a fund belonging to Charles and David Koch.

“We are creating a premier media company serving nearly 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.


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