Kochs Back Meredith Takeover Of Time Inc., Vow No 'Editorial Influence'

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The publisher of Cycling Weekly, Time Inc, is to be purchased by the Meredith Corporation in a $1.8 billion deal that pairs two magazine giants.

It said $650 million in equity came from the Koch Equity Development, but Meredith said that the Koch brothers, Charles and David, known for their support of conservative causes, won't have a seat on the board of the combined company and won't take part in editorial decisions.

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"We are creating a premier media company serving almost 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 M. Lacy.

"Meredith wanted to buy Time Inc. back in 2012, but didn't want Time magazine", former Time magazine Editor Richard Stengel tweeted following the deal's announcement this morning. Meredith approached Time again earlier this year, but those discussions also stalled when Meredith reportedly failed to secure enough bank financing for the acquisition.

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The transaction will create a diversified media and marketing company with calendar 2016 combined revenues of $4.8 billion - including $2.7 billion of total advertising revenues with almost $700 million of digital advertising revenues - and adjusted EBITDA of $800 million. It also runs 17 local news stations in 12 markets. Meredith expects it will save up to $500m in costs in the first two years of operation and plans to "aggressively pay down" debt by 2020. It will give news, business and sports brands to the Des Moines, Iowa-based publisher and broadcaster, which owns lifestyle magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens and Family Circle. Like other media companies, Time is focusing on moving from a print focus to a multimedia approach. The deal is expected to close within the first quarter of 2018.

Meredith's offer is for $18.50 per Time share, up about 10% from the shares' closing price of $16.90 Friday.

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