Meredith (MDP) Discussed Combining with Time Inc. Brand (TWX)

March 6, 2013 5:53 PM EST
Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP) confirmed today that it held discussions with Time Warner, Inc. (NYSE: TWX) regarding a potential combination of Meredith's National Media Group with Time Inc.'s Lifestyle and Style & Entertainment brands. Earlier today, Time Warner announced that it is going to spin off its entire Time Inc. subsidiary into a separate publicly traded company.

Meredith Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen M. Lacy said, "At Time Warner's initiation, we discussed combining our National Media Group with certain Time Inc. brands to create a new publicly traded company. There are natural synergies between our two portfolios; however, we respect Time Warner's decision and certainly remain open to continuing a dialogue on how our companies might work together on future opportunities."

Lacy continued, "Going forward, Meredith will continue to enhance shareholder value through ongoing execution of our successful Total Shareholder Return strategy and building on our company's strong momentum. We are in an excellent financial position given the significant free cash flow our businesses generate and our low debt level. We will continue to focus on initiatives designed to maximize the value of our attractive national and local media and marketing services assets, including strategic acquisitions. "

Key elements of Meredith's Total Shareholder Return strategy include: (1) A current annual dividend of $1.63 per share; (2) A $100 million share repurchase program, and (3) Ongoing strategic investments to scale the business and increase shareholder value over time.

Since implementing its Total Shareholder Return strategy in October 2011, Meredith has increased its dividend 60 percent and repurchased 1.4 million shares, with $62 million remaining under the current authorization. Meredith's dividend yield has averaged approximately 5 percent over this time period, and its Total Shareholder Return since implementation is over 60 percent, including dividend reinvestment.

Additionally, Meredith has been very active on the acquisition front. In 2012 alone, Meredith acquired, the world's leading digital media food brand; popular media brands EveryDay with Rachael Ray and FamilyFun; and the ShopNation e-commerce platform.

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