US media conglomerate Meredith is to be subsumed into the digital publishing arm of InterActiveCorp (IAC), owner of dozens of popular online brands, in a $2.7bn agreement.
The deal will see Meredith Corp folded into IAC’s digital publishing arm Dotdash, uniting properties such as Lifewire and Liqor.com with Meredith’s extensive selection of lifestyle brands such as People, Better Homes & Gardens and Midwest Living.
The combined entity will be renamed Dotdash Meredith and run by Dotdash chief executive Neil Vogel upon formal conclusion of the tie-up by the end of the year.
Meredith has been gradually offloading assets for years, selling Sports Illustrated to Authentic Brands Group in 2019 for $110m and recently agreeing to sell its local TV business to Gray Television – a far cry from the heady days of 2017 when it agreed to buy Time Inc for $1.85bn.
Welcoming the deal, IAC chairman Barry Diller told The Wall Street Journal: “They are perfectly aligned. One will help the other.” Equally happy with the outcome was Meredith chief executive officer Tom Harty, who said: “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.”
IAC has been keen to expand its website portfolio following the successful spin-off of online dating firm Match Group and the Vimeo video-sharing portal.
Dotdash (formerly known as About.com) currently houses 14 media brands spanning health, finance and lifestyle, reaching a combined audience of 100 million. With Meredith under its wing, the combined company would boast over 40 other titles and a further audience of 75 million.
Vogel has vowed to retain print as part of its offer, despite a digital focus, in the face of the long-term decline of the sector.