Here’s one sign that Time Inc. shareholders are eager to see a change in the company’s storyline: The stock price rocketed 17.9% this morning to $16.05 after Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post reported that the magazine publisher — which is expanding into digital and video — rejected a $1.78 billion offer, or $18 a share, from Edgar Bronfman Jr., billionaire Leonard Blavatnik, and former Maker Studios chief Ynon Kreiz.
Bronfman and Blavatnik are partners at Warner Music, where Kreiz is a board member. Like Time Inc., the music company was spun off from Time Warner.
Time Inc. shares lost nearly 44% of their value over the last two years before today’s increase. In September former Fox National Cable Networks and Gemstar-TV Guide chief Richard Battista became CEO, replacing Joe Ripp.
Early this year the company cut $100 million in costs — and this month took a $43 million restructuring charge. Battista told analysts that he’s “examining other ways to reduce the cost base where revenues are declining, and we are identifying other sources of efficiency” as it seeks to become “a truly digital first company.”