UK magazines sold for £120m to private equity firm Epiris

Time Inc’s new owners sells UK unit’s portfolio of brands after three months in charge

Singer Liam Gallagher at the NME Awards. Epiris has snapped up the home of NME, Woman’s Weekly, Country Life and Wallpaper. Photograph: Ian West/PA Wire

Singer Liam Gallagher at the NME Awards. Epiris has snapped up the home of NME, Woman’s Weekly, Country Life and Wallpaper. Photograph: Ian West/PA Wire

 

The new owners of Time Inc have carved out the UK business by securing a near £120 million (€136 million) sale to private equity outfit Epiris.

Meridith Corporation has offloaded the UK unit’s 50-strong portfolio of brands just three months after it seized control of the magazine publisher in a £2.1 billion (€2.38 billion) swoop.

Epiris, which has snapped up the home of NME, Woman’s Weekly, Country Life and Wallpaper through its Epiris II Fund, aims to bring “clarity and simplicity” to the business.

The deal is valued at about €136 million, according to sources.

Chris Hanna, partner at Epiris, said: “At its heart this is a diverse, robust and cash-generative business.

“We intend to bring clarity and simplicity to it, to focus on maximising the potential of its high-quality portfolio.”

Deal

Time Inc’s UK brands reach about 17 million people and 13 million online, with entertainment titles What’s On TV and TV Times selling more than a million copies per week.

As part of the deal, New Scientist chairman Sir Bernard Gray will be installed as executive chairman of the company led by chief executive Marcus Rich.

The sale is expected to be sealed by the end of the first quarter this year.

The tie-up between Time Inc group and Meredith Corporation was announced in November last year when the board of both firms backed Meridith’s $18.50-per-share cash offer to buy all the outstanding shares of Time.

The takeover was billed as creating a media and marketing firm with revenues of $4.8 billion (€3.9 billion), earnings of $800 million (€650 million), and total advertising revenues of $2.7 billion (2.19 billion).

– PA