Building on its big lead in magazine publishing, Time Warner's (TWX - Get Report) Time Inc. agreed Friday to acquire Times Mirror Magazines from Tribune (TRB) for $475 million.
Tribune, which owns the
Los Angeles Times
, began shopping Times Mirror Magazines earlier this year after Tribune acquired Times Mirror. Times Mirror Magazines publishes U.S. titles such as
Field & Stream
. Time Warner reportedly topped a joint bid from
New York Times
and closely held
, which publishes the
The deal will push Time Warner's claim of U.S. magazine advertising revenue to roughly 25% from around 22.5% -- nearly three times the market share claimed by its nearest competitor.
"We're delighted to have the Times Mirror titles become part of Time Inc.," said Don Logan, chairman and chief executive of Time Inc., in a statement. "We think that their vertical sports enthusiast titles are a perfect fit with the
Tribune said it would use proceeds from the sale to reduce debt and repurchase stock. It said it expects its debt to be about $4 billion by year-end. It also said it had repurchased 19 million shares this year.
Tribune said in a statement that the deal with Time Inc. is expected to close in the fourth quarter and is subject to regulatory approval.
Time Warner shares were higher in early morning trading, rising $1.20 to $68.66. Tribune shares were unchanged at $36.44.