Time Inc.'s stock price jumped 24 percent to over $15.60 a share in midday trading, following a report on Wednesday night that the company is in talks to sell itself to Meredith Corp.in a deal backed by Charles and David Koch. The Kochs could help support Meredith's offer with $500 million in equity capital, and a deal could be announced shortly after Thanksgiving. In addition to Time magazine, Time Inc. publishes People, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly and more than 100 other magazines. A Time representative declined to comment and an email to Meredith outside of business hours wasn't immediately returned.
"The only logical acquirer is Meredith", Standard & Poor's Global Ratings credit analyst Minesh Patel told WWD at the time.
Shares of Time, Inc.
A big question looming now, should this acquisition succeed, would the Kochs exert any influence on a Meredith-owned Time Inc.? In 2012, the billionaires spent nearly $400 million.
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A Time-Meredith merger would likely see bundles of similar titles to boost circulation revenue, as well as more scale across its combined digital audiences. Meredith was valued at $2.42 billion.
Wichita-based Koch Industries operates oil refineries in several states.
Instead, the publisher made cost cuts by selling its non-core assets, and announced it was exploring the sale of Coastal Living, Sunset and Golf, and a majority stake in Essence.
Jack Griffin, who served as Time's chief executive officer until his ouster in 2011, was a former executive at Meredith. Meredith is based in Des Moines, Iowa.