New York: Time Inc. will begin discussions with potential acquirers after holding a board meeting earlier this week about the future of the iconic publisher, according to people familiar with the matter.
The board isn’t under any pressure to sell the company and wouldn’t unless the initial expressions of interest value Time significantly higher than previous overtures, the people said. Time may start talks with buyers and their advisers as soon as next week, one of the people said.
Time has been approached by many possible suitors that are interested in either buying the entire company or specific titles, the people said. Discussions with buyers haven’t occurred yet, the people said. Bloomberg reported earlier this month Meredith Corp. had expressed interest in acquiring Time.
Time hired banks after receiving an unsolicited bid from Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Ynon Kreiz in the range of $18 to $20 a share last year, according to a letter reviewed by Bloomberg News at the time. The bid has the backing of billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries. The Bronfman consortium and Meredith aren’t the only interested buyers in the entire company, the people said.
Time’s magazine portfolio includes Sports Illustrated, Time, People and Fortune. Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley are helping the company field offers, Time said last month.
Time Inc. declined to comment.
Bronfman, a managing partner of the private equity firm Accretive LLC, was the former chairman of Warner Music Group, which is controlled by Access Industries. Kreiz was formerly chief executive officer of online-video producer Maker Studios, which was sold to Walt Disney Co. in 2014. Both Bronfman and Kreiz serve on the Warner Music board.
Time, which has a stock market value of about $1.89 billion, has been struggling to adapt to a digital world with falling advertising revenue and rates. Sometimes-activist investor Jana Partners acquired a stake in the company last year, prompting a management shakeup. Bloomberg