|The winner of the Time Inc. auction is the Bonnier Group.|
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"This is a smart transaction that advances both the interests of our shareholders and Time Inc.'s future success," Richard Parsons, chairman-CEO of Time Inc. parent Time Warner, said in a statement just released.
Just who is Bonnier?
Now that things seem well and good for the seller, it's time to wonder -- as the employees of those 18 magazines certainly are -- who is Stockholm-based Bonnier, exactly? And what does it have planned?
"Bonnier is a privately owned company of 200 years and this is another step in building a large publishing company in the U.S.," said Mark Edmiston, the investment banker at AdMedia Partners, which advised Bonnier in the deal.
Regulatory approval is required, but if the deal closes as expected, Bonnier will get full ownership of most of Time Inc.'s Time4 Media division, including titles such as Ski, Skiing, Field & Stream, Popular Science, Outdoor Life, Motorboating and Yachting. It also won Time Inc.'s Parenting and BabyTalk magazines along with Parenting.com. Bonnier entered the U.S. last year, when it bought a 49% stake in World Publications, the publisher of titles such as Saveur and Spa.
"This should have no immediate effect on the employees at all except that they will work for Bonnier instead of Time Inc.," Mr. Edmiston said. All editorial, sales and marketing employees will remain in their current offices in New York, California and Colorado.
Synergy between holdings
Jonas Bonnier, chairman, Bonnier Magazine Group, said the synergies between the new acquisitions and World Publications' titles make a bright future for the company in the U.S. "We are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement that elevates Bonnier to the highest echelon of consumer publishers nationwide."
Combining the new acquisitions with World will at least make Bonnier a significant publisher, with 40 titles and annual revenue of more than $350 million.
Ann S. Moore, Time Inc. chairman-CEO, said she was pleased to have found the "right" buyer, one that can "future" the acquired titles. "This transaction underscores Time Inc.'s commitment to focus our energy, resources and investment on our biggest and most profitable brands," she said. "I'd also like to welcome Bonnier to the New York publishing world, which continues to be an active and vibrant industry."
~ ~ ~
Read the Internal Memo From Time4 Media President Tom Beusse
TO: Time4 Media Staff
FROM: Tom Beusse
We Have a Winner!
The wait is over and the news is very, very good indeed: The Bonnier Magazine Group has reached an agreement with Time Inc. to acquire all Time4 Media and Parenting Group brands. Time4 management, myself included, are extremely pleased at this outcome and excited about the opportunities for growth that it represents for our staff, our brands and our partners.
Bonnier is a family-owned media company that has built their business on a foundation of journalistic excellence that goes back to 1804. Based in Stockholm, Sweden, with businesses in 20 countries, they are very ambitious regarding U.S. opportunities -- this is their third acquisition here this year including a stake in World Publishing with a portfolio of 22 vertical titles in subjects spanning luxury lifestyle and travel, boating and water sports, angling, yachting and sailing.
There is great synergy between our portfolio and World's as well as Bonnier's multi-media strategy and entrepreneurial philosophy. With almost 10,000 employees in five main areas of media: Magazines (including several technology and parenting titles), Entertainment (including music, theaters and gaming), Newspapers, Business Press and Books, Bonnier has adopted a decentralized approach in managing their 150 businesses because they believe in the potential and ability of individuals, and they are notorious for being very good to employees.
They also understand vertical media brands and the value of their connection with passionate enthusiast audiences. Bonnier's acquisition of our businesses is excellent recognition of that value, as well as the quality of our brands and talent of our staff. Together we have the unique opportunity to build a new multi-platform media company on an incredible foundation.
You are the cornerstone of that rock solid foundation. Thank you for your support and your patience these many months, and thank you in advance for your continued faith and patience as we work to resolve a wide range of details.
We will be working with Bonnier Executive Vice President, Jonas Bonnier, and Terry Snow, President and CEO of World, as well as with Time Inc. for the smoothest possible transition. In the meantime, your best assumption is for business as usual on all fronts, with good things to come.
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