Marc Benioff, founder of Salesforce.com, along with his wife Lynne have acquired weekly newsmagazine Time magazine from Meredith Corp. for $190 million in cash, as per a Bloomberg report. The deal is expected to close within 30 days.
However, the sale is independent of Salesforce with the Benioffs buying Time in their individual capacity. Benioff, who currently serves as the co-CEO of Salesforce reportedly has a net worth of $6.5 billion. However, Benioffs claim that they will not be involved in the everyday operations of the magazine or its editorial decisions.
This comes nearly eight months after Meredith Corp completed its acquisition of Time. Meredith acquired Time Inc in January for $1.8 billion. With the decline in print advertising and sale of print media, Time has been struggling to stay afloat.
“The power of Time has always been in its unique storytelling of the people & issues that affect us all & connect us all. A treasure trove of our history & culture. We have deep respect for their organization & honored to be stewards of this iconic brand,” Marc tweeted linking a Wall Street Journal report.
Several buyers reportedly showed interest in buying the 95-year-old magazine. New York Times quotes Edward Felsenthal, the top editor at Time as saying that the magazine will continue to be based in New York and will continue to concentrate on the print magazine, which has over two million paid subscribers. Felsenthal led the search for buyers.
The purchase of Time by the founders of Salesforce is the latest among the trend of tech billionaires buying print news publications. Last year, the wide of late Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell Jobs bought a majority stake in Atlantic magazine through her organisation, the Emerson Collective. In 2013, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post for $250 million.