Time Magazine To Be Sold To Billionaire Couple For $190 Million

Marc Benioff

The venerable newsmagazine Time, a almost 100-year-old media institution, is about to have new owners - Marc Benioff, Salesforce chairman and co-CEO, and Lynne Benioff, his wife.

Marc Benioff, co-founder of the cloud computing company Salesforce.com, and his wife Lynn Benioff are purchasing the publication, they confirmed to the Journal. The WSJ believes that the title reaches over 30 million people a month, while its current owners put that figure closer to 100 million.

In March, just over a month after completing the acquisition, Meredith announced plans to sell the flagship magazine as well as to seek buyers for other longtime Time Inc. titles - Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money magazines - that do not fit into its more female-skewing portfolio of magazine brands.

Time magazine is being sold - again.

However, the Benioffs said they're hopeful given Time's large audience and expanded online presence. Jeff Bezos had purchased The Washington Post for $250 million almost five years ago.

"Time has been at the forefront of the most significant events and impactful stories that shape our global conversation", Meredith CEO Tom Harty said.

In a statement, Meredith said the Benioffs "will not be involved in the day-to-day operations or journalistic decisions".

"The power of Time has always been in its unique storytelling of the people & issues that affect us all & connect us all", Marc Benioff wrote on Twitter. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Benioff said he and his wife were investing "in a company with tremendous impact on the world, one that is also an incredibly strong business. We thank the TIME team for its ongoing hard work and passionate commitment".

As part of the transaction, Meredith will provide short-term business continuity services and has entered into a multi-year agreement with the Benioffs to provide services such as consumer marketing, subscription fulfillment, paper purchasing, and printing.

Meredith, known for publications such as Better Homes & Gardens, acquired Time as part of its US$1.8 billion takeover of Time Inc.in January.

Meredith plans to use proceeds from the transaction to pay down debt. Meredith expects to announce agreements for the remaining asset sales in the near future.

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