Days after Meredith sold Time to Mark and Lynne Benioff for $190 million, it appears to be nearing a deal to sell several more titles, including Sports Illustrated. A group which includes Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and motivational speaker Tony Robbins is reportedly in final talks to buy SI, along with both Fortune and Money. The New York Post reports that Meredith was hoping to sell Time and its related titles for at least $500 million.
It’s not known exactly how much the group will pay for the three titles, but they have all been on sale since March. Back in April, Meredith was reportedly seeking $150 million for SI alone, but with the package deal with the other two magazines, that asking price will likely be higher. The company reportedly wanted $500 million in total for the four titles, including the already sold Time.
Once the sale is closed, one of the plans for SI could be to further reduce its number of issues. It already cut back to 26 issues earlier this year, and the new plan is to publish SI monthly and to add a few special editions, such as the swimsuit issue and various previews tied to big events (Super Bowl, Olympics, etc).
The Time purchase is set to close within 30 days. The SI/Fortune/Money deal has been held up, as the Benioffs were also interested in purchasing Fortune, but eventually chose to buy Time in a standalone deal.
The ball is apparently rolling for Sports Illustrated’s sale, and it’s apparently going to cross the finish line sooner rather than later. The key for Meredith wouldn’t be the sale itself, but the fact that they received value close to what they sought in the first place.