Time Inc. is looking to hand the reins of Essence over to another party, seeking to sell a majority stake in the monthly African-American women’s lifestyle publication.
As the Wall Street Journal notes, the announcement—which may come as a surprise to some—is the first big move by the publisher since it opted not to sell the entire company earlier in 2017.
“We want to unlock the value here,” Time Inc. CEO Rich Battista told WSJ. “We think the best way to do that is to bring in a strategic partner with investment capital. We’re keeping an interest because we see real upside.”
The company hopes to finish sealing the deal by the end of the year.
Back in late April, Time Inc. decided that it would not sell its entire company despite struggles with declining circulation and a fall in print advertising rates. The company has made moves to acquire digital content and other new streams of growth and, as WSJ noted, acknowledged that it would focus on its “core assets and core areas of growth,” such as People, InStyle and Time, while looking to get rid of its “noncore assets.”
Despite how selling a majority stake in Essence could look in light of this, Battista insisted that he saw Essence as core, citing the brand’s expanding events business and growing digital presence.
WSJ reports that a new investor may be able to help Essence continue to grow.
Read more at the Wall Street Journal.