A media company started more than 110 years ago — in 1902 — is in talks with Time Warner about acquiring some of the Time Inc. magazines, reports The New York Times Media Decoder.
Says the story: "Time Warner is in early discussions with the Meredith Corporation [based in Des Moines, Iowa] to put most of Time Inc.’s magazines — including People, InStyle and Real Simple — into a separate, publicly traded company that would also include Meredith titles like Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies’ Home Journal."
The article continues, "The new company would then borrow money to pay a one-time dividend back to Time Warner, essentially turning what appears to be a corporate spinoff into a sale. The figure being discussed is $1.75 billion, according to the people involved in the negotiations, who requested anonymity to discuss private conversations publicly."
Meredith also owns 12 TV stations in such cities as Atlanta, Phoenix, Porland (Oregon) and Hartford/New Haven in Connecticut.
The Times story also notes: "The deal under consideration is one of several options Time Warner is exploring to reduce its troubled publishing unit. As part of the agreement, existing shareholders in Time Warner and Meredith would receive stakes in the new venture. That venture would be primarily a women’s magazine company, expanding on Meredith’s stable of lifestyle publications with strong female readership, especially in the Midwestern United States."
TVWeek’s sibling publication Advertising Age previously published a story saying that Warren Buffett may also be interested in some of the Time Inc. magazines.