Time Inc. to sell
majority of its stake in Essence magazine by year's end
26, 2017) Time Inc. has announced that it plans to sell a majority of
its ownership in Essence magazine, the 47-year-old lifestyle monthly for
African-American women, and one of the most successful publications
among all American magazines.
According to a story reported in The Wall Street Journal,
Time Inc. intends to
maintain a minority ownership stake in Essence after it has been
sold. "We want to unlock the value here," said Rich Battista, Time
Inc.'s chief executive, is quoted as saying. "We think the best way to
do that is to bring in a strategic partner with investment capital.
We're keeping an interest because we see real upside."
While Battista is also quoted as saying that he hopes to complete a deal
by the end of the year, he did not publicly identify a potential buyer.
The announcement comes after considerations by the Time Inc. to sell the
entire company were dropped by its board in April. Interest in the
company was expressed by five parties, including the Meredith
Corporation, publisher of Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle. An
investor group led by the Seagram heir Edgar Bronfman Jr., made an offer
but later withdrew it.
"This is a great company," Battista told the New York Times. "We think
there's tremendous untapped potential, and we're just scratching the
surface." There were no plans announced to sell stakes in Time, People,
Sports Illustrated or its other magazines.
Time Inc. officials have said in recent years that the Essence Festival,
now in its 23-year, generated more revenue than the magazine in a single
year. The annual July 4th holiday celebration attracted more than
470,000 participants to New Orleans this year.
Essence magazine, which publishes 12 issues a year, has a verified
circulation of 1.1 million.
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