Days after feuding with President Trump over what took place during “2017 Person of the Year 2017 ” communications, Time magazine has been sold.
As reported by the NYTimes.
A long chapter in media history came to an unlikely close on Sunday night.
The Meredith Corporation — the Iowa-based owner of Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens and AllRecipes — agreed to purchase Time Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at nearly $3 billion. The deal was made possible, in large part, by an infusion of $650 million from Charles G. and David H. Koch, the billionaire brothers known for using their wealth and political connections to advance conservative causes.
Meredith would seem to be an unusual suitor for Time Inc., which in addition to its flagship magazine Time also publishes People, Fortune, Sports Illustrated and InStyle.
“This is a transformative transaction for Meredith Corporation,” Tom Harty, Meredith’s president and chief operating officer, said in the company’s statement announcing the agreement.
Meredith had arranged for the cash infusion from the Koch brothers through their private equity arm, Koch Equity Development.
Charles Koch, the chief executive of Koch Industries, and David Koch have long sought to shape political discourse through their support of nonprofit organizations, universities and think tanks but have never owned their own media company. But in its announcement of the deal, Meredith said that Koch Equity Development would not have a seat on Meredith’s board of directors and would “have no influence on Meredith’s editorial or managerial operations.”
In a note to its staff members on Sunday night, Rich Battista, the chief executive of Time Inc., said, he believed in “our strategic transformation plan and in our ability to write the next great chapter of this storied company.”
“That said, as a publicly traded company, and one operating in such a dynamic industry as media, we know circumstances can change quickly,” he said. Meredith, Mr. Battista added, “presented us with an opportunity to combine companies to create even greater scale and financial flexibility.”
Under the terms of the deal, Meredith will pay $18.50 a share for Time Inc. The boards of both companies finalized the deal on Sunday evening. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018.
The investment from the Kochs, Meredith said, “underscores a strong belief in Meredith’s strength as a business operator, its strategies and its ability to unlock significant value from the Time Inc. acquisition.”
Some Koch allies have suggested that the brothers would view their investment purely as a moneymaking opportunity. But others familiar with the Kochs’ thinking speculated that they intend to use the media properties — which reach millions of online and print readers — to promote their brand of conservatism. The investment would also give the Kochs a way to combine the arsenal of voter information held by a data analytics company controlled by their network, i360, with the publishers’ consumer data.
Meredith is in some ways the opposite of Time Inc.
Its popular magazines are focused on families and women and are aimed more at Middle America than focused on politics, current events, business, sports and celebrity. Rather than an expensive headquarters in Manhattan, Meredith occupies a campus in Des Moines, Iowa. That, along with its diversified portfolio — the company also owns local television stations — has allowed Meredith to weather the economic storm fairly well.
You can read more here.