Time Inc. is buying American Express Co.’s (NYSE: AXP) publishing unit, American Express Publishing Corp., reportedly for less than $100 million.
American Express Publishing’s brands include Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine. The group will become a subsidiary of Time. American Express’ publications reach 36 million consumers through magazines, books, digital properties and social media.
The unit became part of American Express in 1968 after the company bought U.S. Camera & Travel, which was re-launched in 1971 as Travel + Leisure.
Before the deal, Time provided management services to the publishing group under an agreement that was in place since 1993. The companies collaborated for subscription fulfillment, back office services and cross-title integrated marketing programs. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Time, a division of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX), owns brands Time, People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle and Real Simple.
The deal comes as Time prepares to spin off from Time Warner in the first quarter of 2014. Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes announced plans in March to separate the magazine unit after discussions of a joint venture with Meredith Corp., publisher of women’s titles such as Ladies’ Home Journal, proved to be too complicated.
Other recent media deals include Fortress Investment Group LLC’s (NYSE: FIG) deal for 33 publications from News Corp., NBC News’ acquisition of Stringwire, and Bendon Inc.’s purchase of Dalmation Press LLC.