Meredith hopes to get $150M in Sports Illustrated sale – ODP’s Reed Phillips quoted

SOURCE: New York Post

Meredith hopes to get $150M in Sports Illustrated sale

Bankers who are helping to sell the four former Time Inc. magazines that are now being divested by new owner Meredith are telling prospective buyers that they expect to fetch more than $100 million for Time, Fortune and its sidekick, Money — and more than $150 million for Sports Illustrated, Media Ink has learned.

Houlihan Lokey is handling the sale of SI while Citigroup is in charge of the sale of the other three titles — signaling that Meredith expects at least two different buyers.

Of the three-title package, Time and Money are the marginal ones. Fortune, with its signature Fortune 500 annual listing and conferences, is the most profitable.

Clearly, Sports Illustrated is the best of the four.

“They think SI swimsuit alone could be a brand,” said one media dealer who has seen the pitch.

The four titles are expected to attract many suitors.

“But it’s not about buying a great asset that is going to give you a return on investment — it’s about influence and power,” said one source.

Still, one media dealer thinks getting a bid close to the target price will be tough.

“They can ask those prices, but is it realistic?” one source sniffed. “I think it will be a busted auction, unless some billionaire comes out of nowhere.”

Indeed, Reed Phillips, an investment banker with Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips thinks the most likely buyer is a wealthy billionaire — similar to the people who have snapped up trophy newspapers in recent years.

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