April 12, 2017 Last Updated 3:38 pm

Reuters: Meredith bid too low for Time Inc., stock falls over 3%

The wire service Reuters said today that the bid from Meredith for Time Inc., expected to be the best available, has come in lower than the $20 a share the Time Inc. board has wanted.

Time Inc. shares dipped today, falling over 3 percent. Meredith shares also fell on the news, down just over 2 percent (the market overall is down slightly today).

The Time Inc. board is either looking for a serious premium over its stock valuation, needing the extra money to cover debt, or is a less than enthusiastic seller.

There is still a possibility that Meredith could sweeten its offer, but this drawn out process is not a good sign. One would guess that Q1 earnings, to be announced in early May, either frightened Meredith (meaning, not good), or encouraged the board to ask for more than Meredith was willing to bid (meaning decent). As they say, all will be revealed with the report.

Note: Time Inc. announced the return of Lori Fromm, who served as ad director of InStyle from 2011 to 2013. She returns from Condé Nast to be VP, Brand Sales – the unit responsible for selling the individual magazines (as opposed to category sales). Maybe this is a move to bluster lagging ad pages and shore up the individual titles, which might be enough to keep Meredith interested.

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