NEW YORK (AP) – Barry Diller’s IAC buys Meredith, one of the nation’s largest magazine companies and publisher of The people, the life of the South and In the style, hoping to accelerate the digital shift as the print fades.
Dotdash from IAC, a collection of websites including Investopedia, Brides, Serious Eats and Simply Recipes, will join Meredith, the companies said.
Dotdash CEO Neil Vogel will lead the group, which the companies say will reach more than 175 million people online.
The deal is expected to be concluded by the end of the year. IAC pays $ 42.18 per share, funded by cash and debt, or roughly $ 2.1 billion.
IAC values ââMeredith at $ 2.7 billion, including debt.
It’s a big turnaround for Des Moines, Iowa-based Meredith, who just four years ago bought the Time Inc magazines for $ 1.8 billion to develop its own magazine business. He proceeded to sell historic titles that did not fit his lifestyle based business, such as Weather, Sports Illustrated and Fortune. The pandemic has accelerated the decline of print ads, the IAC said in a presentation, and in the future, print will support the digital effort – a suggestion that some brands could stop their circulation or publish fewer issues per year.
The company “will focus on the best titles,” IAC said.
Meredith, a longtime commercial presence in Iowa, also agreed to sell its TV channel business earlier this year in a $ 2.8 billion deal with Gray Television.
A statement Wednesday from Meredith Vice President Mell Meredith Frazier said the Meredith family is proud of the company’s accomplishments over the past 120 years and that Dotdash Meredith will always be an “active member” of the Des Moines community. .
IAC spokesperson Valerie Combs said Dotdash Meredith “intends to maintain a presence and be part of the community.”
Combs did not say there would be no layoffs, which is common after acquisitions, but said the job cuts “are not our goal at the moment.” In its presentation, IAC said it expected savings of up to $ 50 million in the first year of operation, and that cost reductions usually mean job cuts.
IAC often transforms the divisions of its various activities into separate and autonomous companies. It has done this with Ticketmaster, the travel site Expedia, and more recently the video hosting site Vimeo and Match Group, which hosts dating sites like Match.com, Tinder, and Hinge.
Dotdash was born from IAC’s acquisition of About.com, an old-fashioned internet destination with tips and advice, from NNew York Times in 2012. IAC killed About, then bought a bunch of other properties online from magazine publishers and digital media companies.