Shares of Time Inc. soared more than 20% in trading Monday following reports that the magazine publisher recently rejected a $1.8 billion buyout offer from an investor group that included Len Blavatnik and Edgar Bronfman Jr.
The New York Post reported late Sunday that the group approached Time Inc. brass about a buyout offer at $18 a share, which would have been a 30% premium to the stock’s recent trading price. On Monday, Time Inc. shares shot up out of the gate to top $16, after closing Friday at $13.60.
Time Inc. finished out the day at $16, up 17.7% or $2.40. The stock’s 52-week high came back in June when it reached $17.66.
Reps for Time Inc. and Blavatnik declined to comment. Blavatnik is founder and chairman of Access Industries, a holding company with entertainment assets that include Warner Music Group.
Time Inc. is home to the largest collection of blue-chip U.S. magazine brands, from People to Sports Illustrated to Time to Entertainment Weekly. The company was spun off from Time Warner in 2014.
Like most print-centric media concerns, Time Inc. has struggled to navigate the transition to digital, and is now feeling the effects of the slowdown in print advertising. Time Inc. in September promoted TV veteran Rich Battista to the CEO slot, replacing longtime magazine exec Joseph Ripp.