Is Time Inc. for sale? Maybe. In a move first reported yesterday by Bloomberg’s Alex Sherman, Time Inc. has asked for bids from potential buyers. The informal deadline for offers is next week, and five groups are already showing interest.
One of those is Meredith Corp., which has reportedly been expressing interest in Time Inc. in recent months. Meredith had previously been part of a failed deal with Time Warner, Time Inc.’s then parent company, that would have created a separate company around a number of Time Inc. and Meredith titles. Time Inc. wanted Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money to be part of the deal, while Meredith was interested in Time Inc.’s lifestyle and entertainment titles like People, and ended up rejecting the deal, leading Time Warner to spin off Time Inc. as a separate entity in 2014.
Another of the potential buyers has been at the other end of a rejected deal with Time Inc. A group of buyers led by former Warner Music owner Edgar Bronfman Jr. had their takeover offer rejected in November, as well as an earlier one in the spring.
The request for bids does not necessarily mean that Time Inc. will take one of the offers.