Barry Diller’s IAC Dotdash to Acquire Magazine Publisher Meredith for $2.7 Billion

Meredith’s portfolio includes publications like People, InStyle and Real Simple

dotdash meredith logos
Photo: IAC/Meredith

IAC Dotdash is acquiring Meredith Corporation in an all-cash deal valued at $2.7 billion dollars, the companies announced Wednesday.

Dotdash is the publishing division of Barry Diller’s IAC holding company. The deal will be completed in an all-cash transaction at a purchase price of $42.18 per share, and is expected to close by the end of 2021.

Meredith’s wide-ranging portfolio includes brands and media publications like People, InStyle, Real Simple, Better Homes & Gardens, AllRecipes, Southern Living and more.

The combined company will be called Dotdash Meredith and will be led by CEO Neil Vogel.

Dotdash boasts that it reaches roughly 100 million online consumers monthly amid its 14 media brands in health, finance and lifestyle, and they say that they’ve seen 17 consecutive quarters of double-digit revenue growth. With the acquisition, they now expect to reach 175 million online consumers monthly, including 95% of women in the U.S.

“The Meredith family is extremely proud of everything the company has achieved over the past 120 years, which is a direct reflection of our dedicated employees,” Mell Meredith Frazier, vice chairman of the Meredith board of directors, said in a statement. “Our creative and devoted employees have guided our beloved brands through a fast-changing media landscape – enriching the lives of generations of Americans. The Meredith Foundation will continue to be an active member in the flourishing Des Moines community, as will Dotdash Meredith.”

“We’ve often found opportunities in the digital transformations of businesses and industries: travel, ticketing, dating, home services, and now publishing. Meredith is already seeing record digital growth and we think Dotdash can help accelerate that growth,” Joey Levin, CEO of IAC, added. “We admire the consumer’s trust in Meredith’s more than 40 brands when it comes to essential life decisions, and we believe true and reliable content created by talented writers, editors, and photographers, backed by real brands, has a very bright future across all platforms. Combined with Dotdash’s ability to deliver readers fresh, unbiased content on any topic, together we can offer uniquely engaged audiences to advertisers and partners—based not on a reliance on private information or personal history but on relevancy to the content they’re consuming and a deep understanding of their needs. No one will do this better than Dotdash Meredith.”

“Our digital business is growing rapidly, having surpassed our magazine sales for the first time in the company’s history,” Tom Harty, chairman and CEO of Meredith, said. “The combination of Meredith’s celebrated cross platform brands, creative content and first-party data with Dotdash’s digital first brands is a game-changer for the industry. Nowhere else will you find such a premium portfolio of media assets under one roof. We are thrilled to join forces to accelerate Meredith’s digital future.”

“Dotdash is a digital company, and we have a very different prism on how we view publishing. Our success is based on creating the best content and online experiences for each and every topic we cover, without compromise,” Vogel said. “When we look at Meredith, we see a business that is driven by digital. We see a collection of iconic and venerated brands rich with heritage, leaders in their categories, and similar focus on editorial excellence. We see unprecedented reach to women and a print business that provides longstanding value to readers and advertisers which we view as a strong platform to reach and engage consumers. The opportunities are limitless. Meredith can step into its digital future and together we can define our next chapter as Dotdash Meredith.”

Meredith Corporation was founded in 1902 and in 2018 acquired Time Inc. in a $1.85 billion deal, though Time Magazine has since been sold off to Salesforce’s Marc Benioff. Meredith also holds a Local Media Group portfolio of 17 television stations, and the company previously announced it would be selling off its Local Media Group to Gray Television, Inc. in a separate transaction will close in Q4 2021.