Rothschild's Koch Connection Pays Off in Pursuit of Time Inc

Tomas Mccoy
November 28, 2017

This time, the deal was secured through a large investment by Charles and David Koch the billionaire brothers known for backing conservative causes and Republican political candidates. Meredith had previously tried to buy Time earlier this year and in 2013, but talks were broken off. However, acquiring Time Inc with the help of the Koch brothers will give their media group access to a total readership of over 130 million and a subscription circulation of close to 60 million, per Reuters. Time shares jumped 2% in after-hours trading Sunday, and Meredith rose 1.3%.

Meredith, which owns Family Circle, Better Homes and Gardens and AllRecipes, has a vastly different audience from the iconic brands of Time Inc., which include Time, Sports Illustrated and People.

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"Meredith said in its press release that the Koch brothers will have no influence on how the company is run or its editorial content: "[Koch Equity Development] will not have a seat on the Meredith Board and will have no influence on Meredith's editorial or managerial operations.

Meredith said the first two years after the acquisition are expected to generate cost synergies of $400 million to $500 million, which is probably not reassuring to Time Inc. employees considering its multiple layoff rounds this year. CEO Rich Battista said in a statement.

Even their operating styles are poles apart, with Time being a hardcore NYC brand and Meredith eschewing the Big Apple for the calmer climes of Des Moines, Iowa. "We are also creating a powerful digital media business with 170 million monthly unique visitors in the USA and over 10 billion annual video views, enhancing Meredith's leadership position in reaching Millennials". And its revenue has dropped consistently over the a year ago and a half.

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