Time Inc. agrees to be sold to rival publisher Meredith

REUTERS

REUTERS

The Koch brothers-known for their conservative politics-will hold no editorial or management control over the publications owned by the Meredith Corporation. Meredith said they will have no influence in the combined company.

U.S. media company Meredith Corp said on Sunday it will buy Time Inc, the publisher of Sports Illustrated and Fortune magazines, in a $1.84 billion allcash deal backed by conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, including the tender of a majority of the outstanding shares of Time Inc. common stock and clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

Meredith had expressed interest in buying Time earlier this year and then walked away because it could not secure the necessary financing.

Time Inc announced in June a year ago that it would slim down its cycling portfolio to focus on the flagship title Cycling Weekly.

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The Koch brothers have spent decades building a network of wealthy political donors who pledge money to conservative causes and their advocacy groups.

"KED will not have a seat on the Meredith Board and will have no influence on Meredith's editorial or managerial operations".

Publisher Meredith (NYSE:MDP) is close to a deal to acquire Time Inc. It also runs 17 local news stations in 12 markets.

The deal gives Meredith, publisher of Better Homes & Gardens, a larger audience at a time when publishers need to get bigger to compete with Facebook and Google in advertising.

Meredith said the first two years after the acquisition are expected to generate cost synergies of $400 million to $500 million, which is probably not reassuring to Time Inc. employees considering its multiple layoff rounds this year. Time shares jumped 2% in after-hours trading Sunday, and Meredith rose 1.3%.

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