Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff buys Time Magazine for $190 million

M chief Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne, will buy storied United States news magazine Time for US$190 million (RM786 million), a company statement said yesterday.

Meredith said the agreement is unrelated to Salesforce.com, the cloud computing company founded in 1999 by Benioff where he also serves as chairman and co-CEO. "We have deep respect for their entire organization, and are honored to now have Time as part of our family impact investment portfolio".

The sale is expected to close within 30 days and the Benioffs are buying the publication as individuals, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"We are honoured to be the caretakers of one of the world's most important media companies and iconic brands", the Benioffs said in a statement on Sunday (Sept 16).

Meredith, the publisher of such magazines as People and Better Homes & Gardens, had put four Time Inc. publications up for sale in March.

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The Benioffs said they would not be involved in the magazine's day-to-day operations or journalistic decisions, which will continue to be led by the current executive leadership team and editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal.

In 2017, Meredith sealed the deal on the purchase of Time with the backing of conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch. "We know TIME will continue to succeed and is in good hands with the Benioffs".

Meredith plans to use proceeds from the transaction to pay down debt and expects to reduce its debt by $1 billion during fiscal 2019. At a time when Mr Trump counts mainstream American media as his personal enemy, Mr Benioff has bought a high-profile outlet that has done many critical stories on the president since his election.

Last month, Salesforce named Keith Block as co-CEO of the tech giant, reporting to the board of directors.

Meredith previously tried to acquire Time Inc.in 2013, but allegedly balked at bundling Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated and other major titles into the deal.

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