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Time Warner Inc (TWX) To Spin-Off Time Magazine

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Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) announced on Wednesday that it plans to sell its magazine division, Time Inc., as an independent trading company towards the end of this year. Time Inc publishes famous titles such as Time, Fortune, and People. The spinoff news comes after the announcement made by the News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA) (NASDAQ:NWS) to break up its entertainment and publishing unit into two companies, which is planned to be concluded by the end of this year.

TimeWarner logo

“After a thorough review of options, we believe that a separation will better position both Time Warner and Time Inc.,” said Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes in a statement. “A complete spinoff of Time Inc. provides strategic clarity for Time Warner Inc., enabling us to focus entirely on our television networks and film and TV production businesses, and improves our growth profile.”

Bewkes said that Time Inc will get the advantage of flexibility and focus after being divided and being a standalone company. The CEO of Time Inc, Laura Lang, will leave the company after the spinoff is completed.

CEO of Meredith, Stephen Lacy, confirmed that the talks with Time Inc have been closed for now. Meredith had been in talks to acquire magazines, which are Women centric like People, InStyle and Real Simple.

“At Time Warner’s initiation, we discussed combining our National Media Group with certain Time Inc. brands to create a new publicly traded company,” he said in a statement. “We … remain open to continuing a dialogue on how our companies might work together on future opportunities.”

In 2009, Time Warned parted its telecommunication division, which began trading publically as a separate company, now known as Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC). The online news and information company AOL, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) was also spun off in 2009.

The publishing division of Time Warner Inc (NYSE:TWX) was long struggling with lower sales at the newsstands and poor ad revenues. The 2012 revenue was mainly backed by Time Inc’s magazines; related websites, book publishing and marketing business, but then the revenue declined 6.5 percent to $3.4 billion. The operating income came in at $420 million from $563 million in 2011.

The magazines of Time Inc are still looked up to and cover a major chunk of the U.S. magazine market. As per the Publishers Information Bureau data, the Time Inc’s US magazines totalled for 21.5 percent of the total US advertising revenue in consumer magazines, not including newspaper supplements.

A report from Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) lowered first quarter EBITDA of Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC) to $1.89 billion citing the higher RSN cost related to carriage of Lakers games during the quarter. Further there would be an increase in the operational expenditure as per Goldman Sachs due to adverse impacts from higher pension and programming costs. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) also stated that the company has been benefitted from the increased rates and buybacks, but these benefits were offset by the pressured PSUs and various operational and capital expenditures.

Goldman has given a neutral rating to Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE:TWC).

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Aman Jain
Personal Finance Writer

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