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​Time Inc Sells Off Troubled Time Life

Financial Times, 01.06.04
Alison Beard

Time Inc, the magazine publishing group owned by Time Warner, yesterday sold Time Life, its troubled music and video direct marketing business, to Direct Holdings Worldwide, a private equity joint venture.

The Time Life unit - which sells books, DVDs and compilation CDs through mail and television ads across the world - had become a problem for its parent last year, recording a sharp earnings decline to the end of September and hurting the publishing group's overall results.

Ann Moore, Time Inc chairman and chief executive, said yesterday she was eager to preserve the Time Life brand. But "given our desire to concentrate on high-growth opportunities in Time Inc's core magazine businesses and brands, selling the . . . divisionto the right buyer made strategic sense", she said.

Terms were not disclosed.

Direct Holdings was formed last summer by ZelnickMedia, a partnership that owns and advises media companies, and Ripplewood Holdings, which manages $4bn in private equity funds, in connection with the purchase of Lillian Vernon, a provider of direct-to-consumer gift, household and children's merchandise. With Time Life, the group is expected to have revenues of more than $500m. Alison Beard, New York