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Time Inc Decides It’s Not for Sale, Company Stock Price Sinks

Board elects to remain independent and ”continue to pursue its strategic plan“

Time Inc. is NOT for sale, and company shareholders are dumping some stock.

After Time’s board of directors decided they’d like to remain independent and have the company “continue to pursue its strategic plan,” the New York Stock Exchange-traded TIME started selling down almost 20 percent — more than $3 apiece to less than $15 per share — from Thursday.

The stock had jumped in November and December over reports of takeover bids pouring in. On Friday, the board’s Lead Independent Director John Fahey and President-CEO Rich Battista officially said thanks but no thanks to those.

“Time Inc. is one of the world’s leading multi-platform media companies, engaging over 170 million US consumers across digital and print every month through a portfolio of premium, iconic brands,” Fahey stated in a media release. “We strongly believe in the future and potential of this company. The board has full confidence in Time Inc. president and CEO Rich Battista and the management team to execute on the strategic plan.”

“Time Inc. is a reinvigorated company uniquely positioned to succeed in the multi-platform media marketplace with an exceptional set of brands and assets, tremendous scale and significant untapped potential,” Battista added. “The company is better positioned to capitalize on this potential with its recent shift from a siloed, legacy publishing structure, to an integrated, enterprise platform structure. We are excited to execute on our plan as we have become a leader in digital and remain No. 1 in print ad revenue share. In addition, our transformation has brought a number of potential partners interested in working with us to unlock and accelerate value across our portfolio of brands.”

“Advertisers are looking for fewer, bigger partners. Our unique combination of iconic brands and premium, safe content environments, large audiences across platforms, and data and people-based targeting capabilities enables us to offer them differentiated solutions at scale,” the company’s top executive continued. “Today we have affirmed that we remain on track with our financial outlook for the year. I look forward to continuing to work with the Board and our extraordinarily talented team to deliver value to Time Inc.’s shareholders, consumers, and advertising partners.”

Here’s Time Inc.’s strategic plan, by the way:
– Continued growth in digital audiences and digital revenues led by branded/native content solutions and video
– Expanding and diversifying revenues and content through brand extensions across all areas, including TV, OTT, events, licensing, new products and strategic partnerships
– Further enhancing data, targeting and self-service programmatic capabilities
– Selective portfolio rationalization
– Continued aggressive reengineering of the cost structure of the company

Will it work? For now, we’ll keep our eye on the stock performance. Here is 1-year’s worth of that, for reference — you can see the big drop today at the far-right of the chart:

On Wednesday, May 10, the company will next report quarterly earnings.