A unnamed source tells Bloomberg that Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) may be about to sell most of its Time magazine group.
Iowa-based publishing group Meredith (NYSE:MDP) is said to be in preliminary talks with the media giant to acquire the lion’s share of Time’s current roster of 21 magazines, possibly including People and Entertainment Weekly.
An analyst at UBS (NYSE:UBS) estimated the value of a potential deal between Time Warner and Meredith at between $2.4 billion and $2.9 billion. However, a joint venture is seen as more likely than an outright sales, based on Meredith’s size.
Under the terms currently being discussed, Time Warner would retain leading titles Fortune, Sports Illustrated and Time.
Meredith, which publishes Better Homes and Gardens, is reported to be most interested in acquiring magazines that appeal to a female readership. That would include Time Warner titles like InStyle and Real Simple.
Time has seen its revenue fall 40% over the past 10 years. Last month, it announced that it would cut 500 jobs from its payroll.
Shares of Time Warner rose fractionally in Thursday morning trading, while Meredith was mostly flat.