Meredith CEO Considers Splitting Broadcast, Publishing Unitsby
Media company could merge a unit with strategic partner: CEO
Deal with Time Inc. isn't being negotiated, Lacy says
Meredith Corp. has considered splitting its broadcast and publishing units, perhaps uniting one with a strategic partner, Chief Executive Officer Stephen Lacy said.
The idea is one of several possibilities the company is considering after its plan to merge with Media General Inc. fell through, Lacy said Wednesday in an interview on Bloomberg Television. The company is also contemplating acquisitions to add more media properties and advertising technology, he said, without providing details.
“We have a lot of dry powder -- about five deals are in the works,” he said. “Finding good and creative deals is really where we are focusing our attention.”
Meredith, the owner of local broadcast TV stations and magazines like Better Homes and Gardens and Shape, is seeking to bounce back from the collapse of the merger attempt with Media General last week. Media General had originally agreed to acquire Meredith last September for $2.4 billion, but backed out after Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. later offered to buy Media General, eventually agreeing to pay $2.3 billion. After months of negotiations, Meredith was left with a $60 million breakup fee.
In 2013, Time Warner Inc. attempted to sell most of its magazine properties to Meredith, but the deal never materialized. The company eventually spun off the magazine unit to create Time Inc. In Wednesday’s interview, Lacy said he’s not planning to merge with Time.
Meredith fell less than 1 percent to $40.54 at 9:58 a.m. in New York. The shares were down 5.8 percent this year through Tuesday.