Time Inc. agrees to be sold to rival publisher Meredith

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Meredith said they will have no influence in the combined company.

The publisher of Time, People and Sports Illustrated agreed Sunday to be sold to another big magazine publisher, Meredith. On Friday, Time shares closed at $16.90.

"Meredith wanted to buy Time Inc. back in 2012, but didn't want Time magazine", former Time magazine Editor Richard Stengel tweeted following the deal's announcement this morning.

Time Inc announced in June past year that it would slim down its cycling portfolio to focus on the flagship title Cycling Weekly. Meredith said that Koch Equity Development, the investment arm of Koch Industries, will contribute $650 million in equity to help finance the deal. Fears have been raised that the source of the funding could be of a political interest, however Meredith claims that there will be no seat on the board as a result of the funding and that editorial will remain out of reach of influence.

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The magazines now published by Meredith are not highly circulated, as their current line-up includes niche publications such as Better Homes and Gardens, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and Traditional Home.

Publisher Meredith (NYSE:MDP) is close to a deal to acquire Time Inc.

Meredith, whose magazines include Better Homes and Gardens, Shape and Family Circle, acquired the company for $18.50 per share. Meredith expects it will save up to $500m in costs in the first two years of operation and plans to "aggressively pay down" debt by 2020.

Once the two companies are merged, Meredith says they will serve almost 200 million consumers, with its digital media business reaching 170 million monthly unique visitors in the U.S. Meredith and Time Inc. made combined revenues of $4.8 billion in 2016, including $2.7 billion in total advertising revenue (with $700 million of that from digital advertising) and adjusted EBITDA of $800 million.

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