Time Inc and Meredith Corp have been in talks for the past several days about the latter buying the former according to the NY Times. Though both sides won’t comment on the report, Meredith is said to be reviewing Time Inc’s current financials and is hoping to make an announcement sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Meredith has attempted twice in the past to acquire Time Inc and both times a deal never happened. Meredith either came up short with funding or in the case of the last attempt Time Inc decided not to sell. But this time may be different because now Meredith has additional backing by the Koch brothers who are standing by with an equity injection of $500 million. It is not known if Meredith would be acquiring the entire company and then selling off non core brands, or just the brands it wants that fit in with its current ones.
If a deal does happen this time, brands like People, Fortune, Coastal Living, InStyle and Travel and Leisure will share a home with brands like The Magnolia Journal,Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens. Time Inc has many tentacles in different areas that Meredith would probably unload, shutter or spin off. For example Time Inc’s creative agency called The Foundry may not be something Meredith is interested in holding on to. Time Inc is currently shopping three of its magazines and two business units. If a deal with Meredith happens, there is no word on whether or not those efforts would still be active. Also any deal will lead to deep staff cuts on the Time Inc side including its upper ranks.
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