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Time Inc. Mulls Merger With Yahoo: Report

Time Inc. is considering a plan to merge with Yahoo, according to a report — a pact that would unite two companies that have seen steady declines in their core businesses.

Execs from Time Inc. heard a presentation from Citigroup about a potential Yahoo combination, Bloomberg reported. Under the proposed plan, Time Inc. would merge with Yahoo in a tax-free transaction under which it would merge with Yahoo’s spun-off operations, according to the report.

Such a deal would bring Yahoo’s 200-plus million unique U.S. monthly users to Time Inc.’s growing stable of digital properties. New York-based Time Inc. had 114 million unique monthly visitors in December 2015 according to comScore; the company’s media brands include People, Sports Illustrated, Time and InStyle.

Earlier this month acquired data-marketing firm Viant, owner of Myspace. Time Inc. said it expects Viant — which claims to have data on 1 billion registered users — to contribute $100 million in digital-ad sales this year.

Word of Time Inc.’s interest in Yahoo comes after another Bloomberg report that Comcast, AT&T and Verizon are likely to be among the bidders for the Internet company, along with private-equity firms Bain Capital Partners, KKR and TPG.

Last week, Yahoo’s board announced that it had formed a strategic review committee that would begin reaching out to potential buyers. The company said it doesn’t plan to comment on the sales process “until a definitive transaction agreement is reached or a determination has been made that none will be pursued.”

Previously, Verizon’s AOL unit indicated it would be interested in exploring a potential deal with Yahoo. Verizon bought AOL in a $4.4 billion deal last year.

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