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Time Inc. Buys Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure From Amex

Time Inc., the largest magazine publisher in the U.S., acquired American Express Co.’s publishing arm, which includes titles such as Food & Wine and Travel & Leisure.

Time Inc. also adds Departures, Black Ink and Executive Travel to its roster of 21 titles, the publisher announced today in a statement. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The magazine company is preparing to spin off from Time Warner Inc. in the first quarter of 2014. Time Warner Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Bewkes announced plans in March to separate Time Inc. -- his worst-performing division -- after an unsuccessful effort to create a joint venture with Meredith Corp., publisher of women’s titles such as Ladies’ Home Journal.

In July, Bewkes named Joseph Ripp CEO of Time Inc. after a four-month search.

“I am very excited about the possibilities for expanding these world-class brands, along with the rest of our portfolio, as we prepare to become an independent company,” Ripp said in a note today to employees about the transaction.

As a public company, projections for New York-based Time Inc.’s enterprise value -- or the sum of its equity and debt minus cash -- range from $2.7 billion to about $4.9 billion, according to six analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg in July.

American Express, based in New York, is selling the magazines because banking regulations restrict the company from non-financial activities, it said in the statement.

Time Warner shares advanced 1.1 percent to $62.94 at the close in New York. The stock has risen 32 percent this year. American Express gained 1.3 percent to $74.60.

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