IAC and Meredith Corporation have announced their entry into an agreement under which IAC's Dotdash digital publishing unit will acquire the entity that will hold Meredith Corporation's National Media Group, which is comprised of its digital and magazine businesses and its corporate operations. According to Variety, the deal's enterprise value is worth $2.7B.
The transaction combines Dotdash's digital publishing model with Meredith's brand portfolio, audience and scale. Now called Dotdash Meredith and led by Neil Vogel, chief executive officer, Dotdash, the combined company is expected to be one of the largest publishers in the U.S. with brands across commercial categories online, including home, health, food, finance, parenting and beauty. The transaction will close by the end of the year.
"The Meredith family is extremely proud of everything the company has achieved over the past 120 years, which is a direct reflection of our dedicated employees," says Mell Meredith Frazier, vice chairman, board of directors, Meredith. "Our creative and devoted employees have guided our beloved brands through a fast-changing media landscape – enriching the lives of generations of Americans. The Meredith Foundation will continue to be an active member in the flourishing Des Moines community, as will Dotdash Meredith."
"We've often found opportunities in the digital transformations of businesses and industries: travel, ticketing, dating, home services, and now publishing. Meredith is already seeing record digital growth and we think Dotdash can help accelerate that growth," says Joey Levin, chief executive officer, IAC. "We admire the consumer's trust in Meredith's more than 40 brands when it comes to essential life decisions, and we believe true and reliable content created by talented writers, editors and photographers, backed by real brands, has a very bright future across all platforms. Combined with Dotdash's ability to deliver readers fresh, unbiased content on any topic, together we can offer uniquely engaged audiences to advertisers and partners—based not on a reliance on private information or personal history but on relevancy to the content they're consuming and a deep understanding of their needs. No one will do this better than Dotdash Meredith."
The transaction is structured as an all-cash stock acquisition of the entity that will hold Meredith Corporation's digital and magazine businesses and corporate operations following its spin-off to Meredith Corporation shareholders by the previously announced sale of Meredith Corporation's local media group business to Gray Television. The IAC acquisition is expected to be funded by IAC. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of both IAC and Meredith Corporation and is not conditioned on an IAC or Meredith Corporation shareholder vote.
"Our digital business is growing rapidly, having surpassed our magazine sales for the first time in the company's history," says Tom Harty, chairman and chief executive officer, Meredith. "The combination of Meredith's celebrated cross-platform brands, creative content and first-party data with Dotdash's digital-first brands is a game-changer for the industry. Nowhere else will you find such a premium portfolio of media assets under one roof. We are thrilled to join forces to accelerate Meredith's digital future."
"Dotdash is a digital company, and we have a very different prism on how we view publishing. Our success is based on creating the best content and online experiences for each and every topic we cover, without compromise," says Vogel. "When we look at Meredith, we see a business that is driven by digital. We see a collection of iconic and venerated brands rich with heritage, leaders in their categories, and similar focus on editorial excellence. We see unprecedented reach to women and a print business that provides longstanding value to readers and advertisers which we view as a strong platform to reach and engage consumers. The opportunities are limitless. Meredith can step into its digital future and together we can define our next chapter as Dotdash Meredith."