Time (TIME) will begin to provide information this week to parties interested in buying the magazine publisher, according to a source close to the potential sale.
The New York company, spun off from Time Warner (TWX) in June 2014, is expected to supply information about its operations to rival magazine publisher Meredith (MDP) - Get Report as well as an investment group led by Edgar Bronfman, who parlayed his family's Seagram's fortune into movie and music holdings.
Other parties in addition to Meredith and the Bronfman group have signed nondisclosure agreements requiring that they keep information about Time private, the source said, declining to identify them.
Until very recently, potential buyers hadn't signed nondisclosure agreements, as they had solely expressed general interest in Time, the publisher of People, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and other iconic titles. With the NDAs signed, interested parties will begin to receive information about the company's businesses that isn't always available in quarterly filings.
Time this summer rejected an $18 per share bid from a group including Bronfman, Ynon Kreiz and Len Blavatnik's Access Industries. As a result, the publisher hired Morgan Stanley for financial advice.
Meredith, which publishes Better Homes & Gardens, among other titles, in addition to owning 17 broadcast TV affiliates, was close to acquiring much of Time in 2013 until negotiations fell apart. News of the Des Moines, Iowa, company's apparent renewed interest surfaced in January.
No timetable has been set for the talks, which could terminate without a sale. A Time representative wasn't immediately available for comment.
Like other publishers, Time is finding it harder to sell digital advertising to marketers that have come to accept that it's easier and more efficient to buy ad space on Facebook (FB) - Get Report and Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report , owner of Google and YouTube. The two social media powerhouses receive nearly 60% of all digital advertising in the U.S.
Talks about a potential sale of the publisher begin in earnest this week after three months of deal speculation that has fueled a 53% rise in Time's stock price. Shares of the company were off 1.8% on Monday afternoon to $19.05.
Time now trades at 16.4 time earnings, its highest valuation since December 2014.