Shares of Time Inc gained over 15.7% in morning trading Monday after the company reportedly rejected a takeover bid from billionaire investor Edgar Bronfman Jr. The offer proposed an $18 per share buyout, which was more than 30% higher than the stock’s Friday close and would value the publisher of Time, People, and Fortune magazines at $1.78 billion.
Bronfman, the managing partner of private equity firm Accretive LLC, joined forces with Ukraine-born American billionaire Leonard Blavatnik and Israeli-American businessman Ynon Kreiz to make the offer on Time Inc.
Time is one of many traditional publishers that have been hurt by a changing media landscape. Print ad sales continue to be sluggish as more and more advertisers chase readers that have moved online. Shares of TIME were down 12% year-to-date at Friday’s close.
Nevertheless, traditional publishers should not be counted out of today’s evolving media world. Companies like Time Inc are finally learning how to adapt; the company’s lone highlight in its Q3 earnings report was its impressive digital advertising revenue growth of 63% (Time Posts In-Line Q3 Earnings, Revenues Miss).
For now, not much else is known about the offer or Time’s reasons for rejecting it. One thing we do know is that Bronfman and his group do not have any experience with magazines, which would leave the company’s future uncertain if a buyout does take place.
Investors should keep their eye on this stock if follow-up bids begin flowing in.
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