It’s official: The Benioffs own Time magazine and its assets.
The $190 million cash sale between Meredith, which acquired Time Inc. and the flagship brand in January, and Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne, has closed, Meredith announced Thursday.
The deal was announced in mid-September and raised questions about what the brand will look like with a billionaire at the helm. The Benioffs have said it’s a personal purchase, separate from Marc Benioff’s role as chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce, and they won’t have a role in the day-to-day or editorial operations of the brand.
Meredith will still have a hand in the operations, though, and has agreed to assist with some services, including consumer marketing, paper purchasing and printing. Time employees, at least temporarily, will work out of Meredith offices in lower Manhattan. The Benioffs have not publicly discussed the possibility of layoffs following the sale.
Meredith will use proceeds from the sale to pay down debt, some of which came from the Time acquisition. They hope to reduce by $1 billion during fiscal year 2019.
Meredith is looking to unload other titles it took on in the Time Inc. acquisition, including Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money. A Meredith spokeswoman said they look to divest those brands by the end of 2018, but did not comment further.