Time Inc – publisher of Marie Claire, NME and Now magazines in the UK – is being bought out by US media company Meredith Corp for $2.8bn
The purchased is being backed by US billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who are providing £650m to cover the costs of the transaction and refinance debt.
But, they won’t have a seat on the board and “will have no influence on Meredith’s editorial or managerial operations” according to a spokesperson.
The deal was passed unanimously by the board of directors and is expected to close in the first quarter of next year, with Time president and chief executive Rich Battista to step down once it is completed.
Said Battista: “I am proud of our accomplishments and thank the talented teams across the company for their extraordinary work, relentless commitment, and passion.
“Together, we moved quickly and successfully to launch, grow, and advance our multi-platform offerings during unprecedented times in the media sector.
“Time Inc now engages over 230m 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.”
Meredith, which has a portfolio of lifestyle magazines and local broadcasters – although none in the UK – is understood to have made an earlier attempt to buy Time in 2013.
With the Time brands, Meredith’s readership will rise to 135m with a paid-for circulation of nearly 60m, it has claimed.
The US company said the deal would also expand its reach with “internet-savvy millennials”, creating a digital media business with 170m monthly unique visitors in the US.
Meredith chairman and chief executive Stephen Lacy said: “We are creating a premier media company serving nearly 200m American consumers across industry-leading digital, television, print, video, mobile, and social platforms positioned for growth.”