USA media company Meredith Corp said on Sunday it will buy Time Inc, the publisher of Sports Illustrated and Fortune magazines, in a $1.84 billion allcash deal backed by conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. 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. Helping to finance the purchase are billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch who are also known for their involvement in conservative politics and the Republican Party.
The Kochs - who made their fortune in Koch Industries which invests in a number of manufacturing companies - run a massive political operation that includes funding for a number of libertarian and conservative thinks-tanks and grassroots organizers, such as Citizens for a Sound Economy Citizens for a Sound Economy, Americans for Prosperity, and the Cato Institute.
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.
Prior to the announcement, Meredith had just $28m in cash on hand, according to its latest quarterly report.More news: Saad Hariri Arrives in Cairo to Address Crisis in Lebanon
Media watchdogs have expressed concern over the potential influence of the Koch brothers on Time Inc. The company owns lifestyle magazines like Better Homes & Gardens and Family Circle.
In addition to Time Magazine, publications Time Inc. owns include Sports Illustrated, People, and Fortune.
"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".