A Company Backed by the Koch Brothers Just Bought Time Incorporated for $3 Billion

November 26, 2017
Sam Barsanti

Just days after Time had a hand in creating the most inescapable Twitter meme of the Thanksgiving weekend, its parent company Time Incorporated has been bought in an all-cash offer of nearly $3 billion by The Meredith Corporation, the company behind Family Circle and Better Homes And Gardens. If it seems surprising that Meredith can just throw billions of dollars around, that could be because this transaction was only possible because of a cash infusion from Charles and David Koch, a.k.a. the billionaire Koch brothers who have been using their money to push conservative causes and back right-leaning political figures—along with various Warner Bros. movies, for some reason.

This comes from The New York Times, which adds that Time Incorporated also owns PeopleSports IllustratedFortune, and InStyle, and chief executive Rich Battista said that the deal is part of a “strategic transformation plan” that will give the company the “ability to write the next great chapter” of its history. The deal won’t close until next year, but Meredith executive Tom Harty said that buying Time will be a “transformative transaction” for the company—which, up until now, has primarily been focused on publishing family and home-oriented magazines.

Perhaps the most important thing here, though, is that the Koch brothers and their Koch Industries company will supposedly have “no influence on Meredith’s editorial or managerial operations,” despite providing the company with such a significant pile of cash. The New York Times story says that some Koch “allies” believe that this is all just a way for them to make more money, but some who are “familiar with the Kochs’ thinking” believe that they’ll now try to use their influence over Meredith to push Time to incorporate more Koch-friendly conservative ideas into its magazines.