Licensing company Authentic Brands Group LLC has emerged as a leading contender to buy Sports Illustrated from Meredith Corp., according to people familiar with the matter. The price is said to be about $110 million, the people said.
If a deal is struck, it isn’t expected to include FanSided, a sports and entertainment network of more than 300 websites that was acquired by Time Inc. in 2015 for less than $15 million, people familiar with the transaction said. It is possible the discussions between Meredith MDP, -0.10% and Authentic Brands won’t lead to a deal. One of the people familiar with the talks described them as “early days,” but another person said that Meredith hopes to have a sales agreement in place next month.
Meredith in February told investors that it expected to have a sales agreement to sell Sports Illustrated finalized in the current fiscal year that ends this June. There have been other investor groups looking at Sports Illustrated that may still come forward with a larger bid.
Authentic Brands, based in New York, is a brand development, marketing and entertainment company focusing on such areas as fashion, lifestyle, sports and entertainment. It owns Nautica, Juicy Couture and the footwear and accessories businesses Nine West and Bandolino, among other properties.
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