SOURCE: New York Post

Meredith Shows Interest in Acquiring Rodale titles

Meredith, the company that balked at paying $1.8 billion or more for Time Inc., has declared that it’s in the hunt for the Rodale titles, which will go for considerably less.

“We are always interested in adding attractive media properties to our portfolio,” said a Meredith spokesman. “We have tremendous respect for Rodale and its brands and look forward to participating in the process.”

One industry executive said he thought it would be a “dogfight between Hearst and Meredith.” Hearst sources tell Media Ink they are indeed preparing to take a look.

Estimates on a potential price tag varied from $150 million to $300 million — although nobody has yet had a chance to review the books being prepared by Allen & Co. They’re expected to be available in about two weeks. Revenue at Rodale last year slumped below $300 million, sources said. Banks have been putting pressure on the family-dominated company – now under its third generation of Rodale family ownership – to reduce costs as its revenue stream dried up. 

The company that publishes Men’s Health, Prevention, Women’s Health, Runner’s World and Bicycling put itself into play on Wednesday with an announcement from CEO Maria Rodale that the company was set to “explore potential strategic alternatives.” 

American Media Inc. CEO David Pecker told the New York Times he is very interested in Men’s Health. On Thursday, he said he was buying Men’s Journal from Wenner Media.

“I think the most likely transaction is a sale to Hearst or Conde Nast of the Men’s Heath, and maybe Women’s Health, franchises,” said investment banker Reed Phillips at DeSilva + Phillips. “Men’s Health in particular is a worldwide business – just the kind of magazine business that Hearst and Conde like. There may also be international buyers who are the licensees of these magazines outside of the US.”

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