Time Inc. in merger talks with Meredith

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Shares of telecommunications companies rose after magazine publisher Meredith said it has lined up financing commitments from several banks and the billionaire Koch brothers in pursuit of a takeover of rival Time, The Wall Street Journal reported. Neither Koch Industries nor Time would comment.

The brothers are reported to have forged a tentative agreement to inject more than $500 million in equity to support the offer. Meredith's stock likewise went up as a result, to $59.70 a share-a 10 percent increase. The common-held wisdom was that the most likely suitor was Meredith Corp., the deeper pocketed Des Moines-based publisher of a stable of titles including Family Circle and Better Homes and Gardens.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Meredith had submitted a bid of $17 to $20 per share, which would value Time at nearly $2 billion.

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Time Inc.'s third-quarter revenue declined 9 percent to $679.

The two companies were in talks earlier this year, but couldn't agree to terms back in April.

Sharp falls in sales of magazines and newspapers have weighed on Time's business in recent years, though a tight control on costs has helped it to beat market expectations this year.

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