Time Inc hires bankers to explore takeover, partnership interest: WSJ

(Corrects Dec. 8 story to say in paragraph 8 that Leonard Blavatnik is a Russian-born American billionaire, not a Russian billionaire)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump poses for photographer Nadav Kander for the cover of Time Magazine after being named its person of the year, in a picture provided by the publication in New York December 7, 2016. Time Magazine/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) - Time Inc TIME.N, the publisher of Time, People and Fortune magazines, has tapped Morgan Stanley MS.N and Bank of America Corp BAC.N to help field takeover or partnership interest, the Wall Street Journal reported.

It is far from guaranteed there will be a sale of the company or any other deal, the Journal reported.

Shares of Time closed up 8 percent at $17.75 on Thursday. They touched more than a year high of $17.95 on the WSJ report.

Time, like many publishers, has been hit by a decline in print ad sales as advertisers spend more on other media and readers increasingly move online.

The media company rejected a takeover bid from billionaire investor Edgar Bronfman Jr, the New York Post reported last month.

Bronfman, former CEO of Warner Music Group, made the bid along with Russian-born American billionaire Leonard Blavatnik and Israeli businessman Ynon Kreiz, according to the New York Post.

The WSJ, citing bankers and investors, reported on Thursday that Meredith Corp MDP.N could be a potential bidder. (

Time held talks with Meredith in 2013 to sell the majority of its magazine division.

A Time spokesman said it is against the company’s policy to comment on “such speculation”.

Morgan Stanley declined to comment, while Meredith and Bank of America were not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel