Dear Commons Community,
Various media are reporting that Time Inc., the publisher of the magazines Time, People and Sports Illustrated, will sell itself to the Meredith Corporation in a deal worth $2.8 billion. Meredith will pay $18.50 a share for the legacy media giant. The sale, unanimously approved by the boards of both companies, is backed by $650 million in financing from Koch Equity Development, the private equity group owned by billionaire brothers and conservative mega-donors Charles and David Koch. As reported by the New York Times:
“A long chapter in media history came to an unlikely close on Sunday night with a sale agreement for Time Inc., the publisher of once-prestigious magazine titles including Time, Sports Illustrated and People.
The Meredith Corporation — the owner of Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens and All Recipes — agreed to purchase Time Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at nearly $3 billion. The deal was made possible, in part, by an infusion of $650 million from the private equity arm of Charles G. and David H. Koch, the billionaire brothers known for using their wealth and political connections to advance conservative causes.
Some Koch allies have suggested that the brothers would view their investment purely as a moneymaking opportunity. But others familiar with the Kochs’ thinking speculated that they could nonetheless use the media properties — which reach millions of online and print readers — to promote their brand of conservatism. The investment would also give the Kochs a way to combine the arsenal of voter information held by a data analytics company controlled by their network, i360, with the publishers’ consumer data.”
It remains to be seen whether and to what extent the Koch brothers might involve themselves in the Time Inc. publications.