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Barry Diller’s IAC in talks to buy magazine publisher Meredith
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IAC/InterActiveCorp. is in advanced talks to acquire magazine publisher Meredith Corp., owner of brands including People and Better Homes & Gardens, according to people familiar with the situation, in an effort to build more scale in online publishing.
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The deal, which is expected to be valued at more than $2.5 billion, would vastly expand IAC’s collection of online publications, which include Brides, Serious Eats and TripSavvy, the people said. It would also bulk up IAC’s portfolio of websites, which has shrunk recently after the company moved to spin off online-dating behemoth Match Group Inc. and video-hosting and sharing platform Vimeo Inc.
IAC, led by Chairman Barry Diller, has pulled ahead of another group vying for Meredith that includes Phoenix-based private-equity firm The Najafi Cos. and could strike a deal in the coming days, some of the people said. There is no guarantee there will be a deal, as the talks could still fall apart.
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Meredith earlier this year agreed to sell its local TV business to Gray Television Inc.
The decision to sell the rest of the company would mark a major turnabout for Des Moines-based Meredith, which less than four years ago placed a bet on the future of the magazine business when it agreed to buy Time Inc. for $1.85 billion.