As Time Prepares to Sell Large Part of the Company, What Happens to the Rest?

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Time Inc. (NYSE: TIME) filed a statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that showed, among other things, it plans to sell several businesses that represent nearly a fifth of its revenue. The potential M&A activity raises more questions about what the board will do with the balance of the properties.

In an 8K, the company disclosed:

The Company has identified, and is pursuing, divestiture opportunities with respect to several assets. The assets identified for potential divestiture at this time are: Time Inc. UK, the UK’s leading multi-platform publisher with 60+ brands; Time Customer Service, the Company’s Tampa, Florida-based subscription management and fulfillment services center, which may also include entering into outsourcing arrangements following any sale; a majority stake in Essence; and the Sunset, Coastal Living and Golf brands. The Company estimates that these assets represent, in the aggregate, approximately $488 million, or 17%, of its total revenues for the twelve-month period ended June 30, 2017.

Along with the potential sales of several of its other properties, Time may be a much smaller company early next year than it is now.

It is not clear whether the sales of these assets will help Time’s profit margins since it does not disclose the revenue and profits of its individual properties. In the June quarter, revenue for the entire company was $694 million, down from $769 million in the same quarter a year earlier. It posted a net loss of $44 million, compared to a year-ago profit of $18 million.

Time might also use the potential sales to improve its balance sheet, which currently has $269 million in cash and cash equivalents against $1.27 billion in long-term debt. The cash also may be used for M&A purposes. Time is trying to build is video operations, and companies in this media segment may be a target.

Among the open questions about Time is whether it will sell any of the brands that have been its crown jewels. This includes its flagship magazines Time, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly and InStyle. Most analysts believe that the lion’s share of Time’s profits come from People, which means that other properties have to be potential targets of sales or downsizing if Time’s profits do not rise quickly.

Time has disclosed some of its assets are for sale. That puts even more focus on what will happen with the properties it has left.