Digital Publishers Continuing Acquisitions as Lending Grows

Media lending at a decade high with Meredith deal; Digital publishers at Penske media acquire FashInvest; Discovery increases ownership in OWN

Last week we reported on one of the biggest media acquisitions we’ve seen in awhile as Meredith Corp. bought Time Inc. for $2.8bn including debt. Today we’re visiting some other recent moves by media companies and digital publishers since.

Our first story reports on the increase in media lending, punctuated by the recent blockbuster acquisition from Meredith Corp. Reuters reports, “U.S. media group Meredith Corp’s planned purchase of Time Inc is the latest in a run of mergers that have boosted media lending to the highest point in more than a decade as the sector regroups to fight online content providers.”


“Nearly US$94bn of investment-grade and leveraged loans have been provided to media companies so far this year, including deals that are completed and in process, up from US$59bn in 2017, according to Thomson Reuters LPC data.”

The article continues with reasons for many of the most recent mergers. “Media companies’ quest for more and varied content, combined with relaxed restrictions on network ownership and liquid banks keen to provide funding are driving the mergers, which are expected to accelerate, bankers and attorneys said.”

Our next story looks at an acquisition by digital publishers at Penske Media. MediaPost reports, “Penske Media Corporation (PMC), which publishes Variety and Hollywood Life, announced the acquisition of fashion and tech entity FashInvest.”

“FashInvest was founded in 2009 and began as a series of industry events at the epicenter of fashion and finance. It soon launched a website with editorial ranging from interviews with industry luminaries to fashion coverage to advice for industry entrepreneurs.”

The article continues with the recent activities of PMC over the past few years. “PMC purchased Fairchild Media, which publishes Women’s Wear Daily, from Conde Nast in 2014. Last month, PMC acquired sourcing and manufacturing trade publication Sourcing Journal. The FashInvest acquisition extends the company’s involvement in fashion, technology and finance.”

Our final story of the day visits a deal between Discover Communications and the Oprah Winfrey Network. MediaPost reports, “Discovery Communications is increasing its ownership on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network to 70%.”

“Since the network started in 2011, Discovery and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Inc. each had a 50-50 stake in the channel. The new Discovery stake — which Discovery paid $70 million for — takes into account net debt at the network.”

The article continues with a look at the specifics of the deal. “Harpo will retain a minority interest in the 6-year-old OWN network; it didn’t disclose details. Oprah Winfrey will continue in her role as CEO of the network and will extend her exclusivity to the network through 2025.”

Many changes are required when digital publishers and media companies make acquisitions or merge with other companies. Do you need help bringing your digital magazine to the next level? If you’d like to discuss how we can help you increase your audience, revenue and profits, please reach out to schedule a no obligation chat with Don Nicholas, our Founder, Chairman & CEO.


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