Meredith Corp agreed to acquire Time Inc for US$2.8 billion (S$3.8 billion) including debt, swallowing the once-mighty home of Fortune and Sports Illustrated after the Internet age wreaked havoc on even the most prestigious magazine titles.
Meredith has been trying to buy Time Inc. since at least 2013, when its first offer was rejected because the two companies could not agree on what magazine titles would be included in the deal.
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. Helping to finance the purchase are billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch who are also known for their involvement in conservative politics and the Republican Party. The brothers are supporters of libertarian and conservative causes and especially generous with funding for climate denial.
Koch Equity Development will not have a seat on the board nor influence editorial operations, the company said. "KED's non-controlling, preferred equity investment 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".
Meredith, whose magazines include Better Homes and Gardens, Shape and Family Circle, acquired the company for $18.50 per share. It also runs 17 local news stations in 12 markets. Time closed Friday at $16.90/share. It is unclear how much influence the Kochs would have on Time, which includes Time magazine, People, Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly among its stable of publications. Bringing Time's brands to Meredith will bolster the company's roster of publications.