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


It is unclear how much influence the Kochs would have on Time, which includes Time magazine, People, Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly among its stable of publications.

Meredith has been trying to buy Time Inc. since at least 2013, when its first offer was rejected because the two companies could not agree on what magazine titles would be included in the deal.

Thanks to a significant cash infusion from activist billionaires David and Charles Koch, Meredith has made a binding bid to acquire Time Inc.in an all-cash deal valued at $2.8 billion.

The deal is valued at $1.84 billion based on the offering price and number of shares of Time outstanding on September 30.

Time, which also publishes Fortune and Sports Illustrated, began looking for a buyer late previous year before giving up several months later, while welcoming options. It said it is using $3.55bn in financing commitments from a variety of lenders and a $650mn preferred equity from Koch Equity Development, an investment arm of Koch Industries, to finance the deal and pay down existing debt.

"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", Meredith CEO Stephen Lacy in a statement.

"We think there's tremendous untapped potential", Time CEO Rich Battista told The New York Times about why the company was turning away potential suitors.

Time has been reeling under the same pressures facing the rest of the magazine industry. (NYSE:TIME) that could be announced this week, Reuters reports.

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

"Get ready for next year's new Time Magazine feature "Person of the Last & Next Century" Ayn Rand", Boyle tweeted.