We told you to keep an eye out for Time inc. (NYSE:TIME) in a recent merger madness edition. It looks like our watch call has come to fruition, as last night some major moves were made, with Meredtih to buy Time.
Publisher Meredith (NYSE:MDP) was close to a deal to acquire Time Inc.(NYSE:TIME) that could be announced this week, Reuters reported. However, last night, the deal was released, while few were paying attention.
The companies have announced the deal, for $18.50/share — which comes to $1.85B in cash, or a total transaction value of $2.8B including assumed debt and net of cash acquired. Boards have unanimously approved of the tender offer.
That deal is backed by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers coming in with some $600M in financing, or nearly 1/3 of the purchase price here. That valuation is in sync with an earlier Wall Street Journal report that Meredith would bid in the range of $17-$20 per share. Time closed Friday at $16.90/share. With such a deal, Meredith could have the scale to follow in the footsteps of other acquisitive media organizations and spin off its broadcasting arm.
With Meredith to buy Time, 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. Analysts have said that bulking up on publishing assets could give Meredith the scale required to spin off its broadcasting arm into a standalone company.
When combined, the Meredith and Time brands will have a readership of 135 million people and paid circulation of nearly 60 million. The deal also will expand Meredith’s reach with internet-savvy millenials, creating a digital media business with 170 million monthly unique visitors in the United States and more than 10 billion annual video views.
We like the deal. With Meredith to buy Time, we think such consolidation can help compete with the largest media outlets.
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