Shares of Meredith Corp (NYSE: MDP) jumped 30% on Friday morning as the Wall Street Journal said Barry Diller’s Interactive Corp (NASDAQ: IAC) was in advanced talks to acquire the Iowa-based media conglomerate.
As per the WSJ report, the deal could value Meredith Corp at more than $2.5 billion. Interactive Corp is also up about 2.5% in the stock market this morning.
IAC will get to expand its portfolio of online publications
Acquiring Meredith will help IAC further strengthen its portfolio of online publications with brands like People and Better Homes & Gardens. IAC already owns notable digital outlets, including Serious Eats and Brides.
The American holding company is expected to beat Najafi (private equity firm) in bidding and strike an agreement with Meredith shortly.
An IAC spokesperson, however, refrained from commenting on the WSJ report saying, “the company does not comment on rumours or speculation”. Meredith spokesperson hasn’t made an official statement either.
Meredith sold 17 TV stations to Gray Television earlier this year
The announcement comes shortly after Gray Television bought 17 of Meredith’s television stations in a $2.7 billion deal, which helped Meredith slash its net debt and redirect its capital investments to fast-growing digital and consumer opportunities.
Meredith also bought Time Inc for $1.34 billion in 2018 but later offloaded all of its brands, including Time, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated, except People, which it said was the only one in line with its female-skewing lifestyle holdings.
Including Friday’s price action, Meredith shares have now nearly tripled on a year-to-date basis.
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