Time Inc. Asks Suitors to Submit Offers by Next Week

  • Five companies said to express interest in buying all of Time
  • Board will decide whether to proceed with sale based on offers

Time Inc. asked potential suitors to submit acquisition offers by next week, according to people familiar with the matter.

Time’s board of directors wants details on how possible buyers value the company so it can determine whether to pursue a sale of the entire business or individual magazine titles, the people said, asking not to be identified as the details aren’t public. The company may also choose not to proceed with a sale at all, the people said.

Shares rose as much as 9.1 percent Wednesday, and were trading up 7 percent at $18.80 at 12:51 p.m. in New York.

Five companies have expressed interest in acquiring all of Time, one of the people said. Two of the potential buyers are Meredith Corp. and an investor group led by Edgar Bronfman Jr., the people said. At least one of the other three bidders is a publicly traded company, the person said. Time is also considering taking an investment from private investors.

Time shares gained about 27 percent through Tuesday since rejecting a bid from Bronfman’s group in November.

A representative for Time declined to comment, while a spokesman for Meredith didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Bronfman, a managing partner at private equity firm Accretive LLC, and former Maker Studios Chief Executive Ynon Kreiz teamed up to make an all-cash offer in the range of $18 to $20 a share, according to a letter reviewed by Bloomberg News. The bid was backed by Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries.

Time, which has a market valuation of $1.74 billion, owns magazines including Sports Illustrated, Time, People and Fortune. The company is working with Bank of America Corp. and Morgan Stanley to help advise on possible strategic options.

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