Time is buying the luxury publishing division of American Express including titles Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure and Departures. The price has not been disclosed. Travel + Leisure circulation is around a million and Food& Wine about 250,000.
Background to the deal is banking rules that require AmEx, as a bank holding company, to exit noncore businesses.
"Time Inc. is a natural home for AmEx Publishing, " Adweek points out. "The two companies have had a management services agreement since 1993. They firms collaborate on cross-title integrated marketing programmes, and AmEx benefits from Time Inc. expertise, resources and relationships."
The magazines are enjoying a boom in luxury advertising. For the January-September period, ad pages across all five of the Amex titles are up 6 percent versus a year ago.
Some AmEx cardholders get the magazines as a benefit of membership and that will continue.
Time Inc. was in talks to sell to Meredith Corp earlier this year but Time Warner decided to spin off Time Inc. as a separate company instead. That is expected to be completed early next year.
CEO Joe Ripp told Time Inc. staff in a memo he was delighted that after a 20-year strategic relationship, American Express Publishing—including its leading luxury lifestyle titles such as Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine—will become part of the Time Inc. family.
" I am very excited about the possibilities for expanding these world-class brands, along with the rest of our portfolio, as we prepare to become an independent company."