DONE DEAL: Time Inc. completed its acquisition of American Express Publishing and its five magazines, including Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine and Departures, Tuesday, chief executive officer Joseph Ripp said. The two publishers had been in conversations for several months by the time Ripp was appointed ceo in July. New banking rules required American Express to abandon nonfinancial businesses. The publishers already had a management agreement going back to 1993.
When the deal goes through in the fourth quarter, Amex Publishing will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Time Inc. Financial terms were not disclosed, but press reports pegged the sale amount to be less than $100 million. The five Amex magazines will be incoporated into Time’s lifestyle group and report to group president and executive vice president Evelyn Webster. News that a deal was imminent leaked Monday afternoon.
In a message to employees, Ripp said he planned on “expanding these world-class brands, along with the rest of our portfolio, as we prepare to become an independent company.”
John Hayes, chief marketing officer, American Express, said, “We concluded that Time Inc. is the ideal partner to continue the group’s tradition of excellence, and we expect to work closely with them on a range of marketing initiatives in the future.” The other two magazines that are part of the deal — Black Ink and Executive Travel — as well as Departures will continue to be available only to Platinum and Centurion cardholders.