Time Inc to sell UK titles to private equity

Time Inc UK CEO Marcus Rich said the new owners 'share the same vision for our business'
Time Inc UK CEO Marcus Rich said the new owners 'share the same vision for our business'

Time Inc has agreed to sell its UK publishing arm, which includes NME and Marie Claire, to private equity fund Epiris.

Epiris is an investor in a diverse portfolio of companies including restaurant chain TGI Fridays.

The deal, reportedly worth £150m, would mean the magazine giant’s American owner would retain responsibility for the British division’s large pension obligations, according to Sky News which first learned of the transaction in October.

Time Inc, which has just been bought by Meredith Corporation in a $2.8bn (£1.99bn) deal, is pursuing $400m in cost savings in its operations worldwide amid declining circulation and falling revenues.

Among Time Inc UK’s titles are household names such as Woman’s Weekly, specialist titles such as Wallpaper, and popular TV guides such as What’s on TV and TV Times, which sell more than a million copies each week. 

The UK business is led by chief executive and PPA chairman Marcus Rich, who joined in 2014 from DMG Media.

Sir Bernard Gray, who is chairman of New Scientist and formerly non-executive director of Immediate Media, will become executive chairman. Gray is a former Ministry of Defence civil servant who was chief of defence materiel until 2015. 

Rich said: "Time Inc UK is home to some of the best known brands in the UK and we are delighted to be partnering with Epiris and with Bernard as we continue our transformation journey. 

"They share the same vision for our business and we are excited by the fresh insight they will bring as we shape our shared plans for the business in the years ahead."

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