Shares of Time, Inc. (NYSE:TIME) have soared today, up by 23% as of 12:30 p.m. EST, after The New York Times reported that the company may be looking to sell itself to Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP). The deal is said to be backed by the Koch brothers.
Both magazine publishers were reportedly exploring a possible deal earlier this year before things fell through, only to be reignited by the Koch brothers' interest, according to the report. The Kochs could help support Meredith's offer with $500 million in equity capital, and a deal could be announced shortly after Thanksgiving.
The Times says that Meredith is currently looking through Time's financials, which would be part of the normal due diligence process.
Meredith has attempted to acquire Time on several occasions over the years, and this is the third reported effort. Prior deals did not materialize over disagreements on which magazines titles would be acquired. Meredith has also run into hurdles with securing financing, which is why the Kochs stepping in could help support a potential deal. The Koch brothers have been expanding their media presence in recent years in order to further their conservative agenda, although it's not clear if they would have much influence over the publications and their editorial content.