Time Inc acquires American Express Publishing Corp

Time Inc, the biggest magazine publisher in the US, yesterday acquired American Express Publishing Corporation, the publishing arm of American Express Co (AmEx), for an undisclosed sum.

New York-based AmEx has been compelled to sell its magazines unit since US banking regulations bar financial firms from undertaking  non-financial activities.

Although both companies did not disclose the financial terms of the transaction, several media reported that the deal price was less than $100 million.

AmEx Publishing, whose brands include Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine, will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Time. 

The magazines that include Sports Illustrated, People, Departures, Executive Travel and Black Ink, will add to Time's lifestyle group, which has magazines like Sunset, Real Simple and Southern Living.

The brands reach 36 million consumers worldwide across its portfolio, which includes the company's magazines and branded books, digital properties, social media platforms, membership clubs and retail stores.

''We've built a great business around respect for our people and the brands that they serve,'' said Ed Kelly, president and CEO of AmEx Publishing. ''This sale is a formula for success that will allow us to further develop our extraordinary brands, services and traditions, and we look forward to being part of the Time Inc. family.''

The deal comes after a 20-year partnership between Time and AmEx, with Time providing management services to AmEx.

''We have a long-term relationship with Time Inc. that goes back many years,'' said John Hayes, chief marketing officer at AmEx.  "Under Ed Kelly's leadership, American Express Publishing has done extraordinary work with great skill, passion and accomplishment.  While the company has outperformed its peers by creating editorial products of exceptional quality, banking regulations limit our ability to engage in non-financial activities."

''American Express Publishing is home to the most desirable brands in the luxury space and we're delighted they will become part of Time Inc,'' said Joe Ripp, CEO of Time.  ''We have deep respect for Ed Kelly and his talented team.  We know their business well and we believe we can create some exciting synergistic opportunities across our portfolio.''