Shares in Time Inc. are down more than 19% in pre-market trading after the publishing company said that it “will continue to pursue its strategic plan” rather than accept a sale offer.
Meredith Corp. and a consortium led by Edgar Bronfman Jr. had circled the company.
But Time’s board says today that after evaluating “a number of expressions of interest with the assistance of external advisors” it will continue its effort to build titles including Time, Fortune, People, Sports Illustrated, and Entertainment Weekly into digital franchises.
“The Board has full confidence in Time Inc. President and CEO Rich Battista and the management team to execute on the strategic plan,” Lead Independent Director John Fahey says.
Battista says that the company is “reinvigorated” and “uniquely positioned to succeed in the multi-platform media marketplace with an exceptional set of brands and assets, tremendous scale and significant untapped potential.” Indeed, “our transformation has brought a number of potential partners interested in working with us to unlock and accelerate value across our portfolio of brands.”
In 2014 Time Warner spun off the magazine power founded by Henry Luce in 1923.
The company says it has 133 million comScore uniques, more than 250 million social followers, and 30 million paid subscriptions. It expects digital ad sales to top $600 million this year, and “sees a path to $1 billion over the course of its plan.”
Time will disclose its Q1 financials on May 10.
“Advertisers are looking for fewer, bigger partners,” Battista says. “Today we have affirmed that we remain on track with our financial outlook for the year. I look forward to continuing to work with the Board and our extraordinarily talented team to deliver value to Time Inc.’s shareholders, consumers, and advertising partners.”