The media company Meredith Corporation has agreed to buy Time Inc, the publisher of titles including Sports Illustrated and People for $2.8bn (£2.1bn) in an all-cash transaction.
Tom Harty, Meredith’s president and chief operating officer, said last night when his company announced the acquisition:
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This is a transformative transaction for Meredith Corporation.
The deal is backed by the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, who injected $650m from the private equity arm of their company, Koch Equity Development.
However Koch Equity Development will not have a seat on Meredith’s board of directors and will “have no influence on Meredith’s editorial or managerial operations,” according to a company statement.
The Koch brothers run Koch Industries, one of the largest privately-owned companies in the world, and are known for investing their millions to help advance politically conservative ventures.
According to the Koch Industries website, “to millions of Americans, the words ‘Koch brothers’ and ‘political activism’ go hand-in-hand”.
Verdict takes a look at how they have used their wealth in the past.
In November 2016, Koch Equity Development invested more than $2bn to take a stake in enterprise software provider Infor.
The deal, which valued the New York-based Infor at over $10bn, saw Koch Equity Development get four seats on the Infor board
Infor helps businesses manage their inventories, accounting processes, and logistics.
2. Guardian Industries
In November 2016, Koch Industries also acquired Guardian Industries, a manufacturer of glass, automotive and building products based in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
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Ron Vaupel, president and CEO of Guardian said at the time:
“Guardian began in 1932 as a small windshield company in Detroit and has since become an established leader, proudly serving a global customer base in multiple industries. The combination of Guardian’s expertise and Koch’s existing capabilities and infrastructure provides a tremendous opportunity for all of us to create more value for our customers and the communities in which we operate.”
In September 2013, Koch Industries bought Molex, a maker of electronic connectors for $7.2bn.
The deal marked a significant shift for the Koch brothers away from their traditional holdings in energy, chemicals and paper.
4. Georgia Pacific
In November 2005, Koch Industries agreed to purchase building-products and paper maker Georgia Pacific for $13.2bn.
Georgia Pacific owns products like Brawny paper towels and Dixie paper cups.
David Koch, the company’s executive vice president, said in an interview after the acquisition was announced:
We are all staggered by the size of it. We are in awe that we were able to make this acquisition. We think it fits us beautifully. They [G eorgia-Pacific] were taking a large portion of their money and using it to pay down debt. We can reinvest a lot more of that cash flow into improving their manufacturing facilities. In addition, process technology is something we are good at. We can make them operate a lot more efficiently.
Invista makes spandex, resins, chemicals and polymers. Koch Industries acquired the company in November 2003 for $4.4bn.
Kansas-based Invista owns 23 brands, operates in 20 countries and boasts 10,000 employees.