Meredith to buy Time Inc. for $1.85 billion

REUTERS

The Journal reported that Iowa-based Meredith has agreed to pay $18.50 a share in cash - a 46% premium from Time's stock at the time acquisition talks were first reported on November 15.

Conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch are kicking in $600 million for the purchase, according to the New York Times, although neither Meredith nor Time acknowledged the contribution in their press releases. Koch Equity Development, the brothers' investment firm, is putting up $650 million to receive preferred equity in the deal.

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

It is clear that Time's numbers have been continually declining in the past few years, as the media group has missed their financial goals in six straight quarters. The deal is a coup for Meredith, which held unsuccessful talks to buy Time earlier this year and in 2013.

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Rothschild also worked with Solera Holdings Inc.in a deal a year ago in which the Koch company provided $800 million of preferred equity. Time Inc.is best known for publishing its eponymous news weekly, but its other titles include Fortune, Entertainment Weekly, People, Sports Illustrated and InStyle.

"Time Inc. now engages over 230 million consumers across digital and print every month through a portfolio of premium, iconic brands that are well positioned to continue to be powerful voices in media for many years to come".

Meredith, whose magazines include Better Homes and Gardens, Shape and Family Circle, acquired the company for $18.50 per share. Bringing Time's brands to Meredith will bolster the company's roster of publications.

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