One of the world's most influential magazines, Time, has been set to be acquired by Marc Benioff, billionaire co-founder and CEO of Salesforce, a leading cloud computing company. The deal between Benioff family and Meredith Corp. is arranged at 190 million USD in cash and is expected to close within the next 30 days.
Time is one among many of Meredith's top publications that have been put up for sale. Apart from Time, Meredith is working to sell off three other magazines- Fortune, Money, and Sports Illustrated. In a public statement, Meredith said that the acquisition is unrelated to the operations of Salesforce.com, and that Benioffs "will not be involved in the day-to-day operations or journalistic decisions."
The sell off comes eight months after Meredith Corp's takeover of Time, Inc., the media assets conglomerate which owns multiple magazine brands, including the flagship Time, Sports Illustrated, Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine, Fortune, People, InStyle, Life, Golf Magazine, Southern Living, Essence, Real Simple, and Entertainment Weekly. The deal creates a trend, wherein yet another tech billionaire places ownership on a global media brand after Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, purchased The Washington Post in 2013.
Meredith says that it will use the proceeds from the sale to reduce its debt by 1 billion USD during fiscal 2019.
The power of Time has always been in its unique storytelling of the people & issues that affect us all & connect us all. A treasure trove of our history & culture. We have deep respect for their organization & honored to be stewards of this iconic brand. https://t.co/TsbcXhO1OU
— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) September 16, 2018
Timeline of Time magazine acquisition
November 2017: Meredith Corporation announces its acquisition of Time, Inc for 1.8 billion USD.
March 2018: Meredith announces the sale offer of Time and sister magazines Fortune, Money and Sports Illustrated.
September 2018: Meredith announces sale of Time magazine to Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne for 190 million USD.