Despite reports that a deal had been abandoned, US media titan AOL Time Warner now appears set to swallow Britain’s largest publisher of consumer magazines, IPC Media.

WAMN reported [13-Jun-01] that the deal had foundered on price, with IPC rejecting AOL TW’s offer of between £850 million to £1.1 billion. However, word is that the offer has since been hiked and now ranges between £1.1bn - £1.25bn ($1.54bn - $1.75bn), numbers more to the taste of IPC’s controlling shareholder, the private investment group Cinven.

Cinven is known to be eager to cash-in its 56% investment in IPC, after funding a management buyout from Reed Elsevier in December 1997. For its part, AOL TW is equally hungry for a deal, having promised shareholders that half of total group revenues will come from overseas operations within a decade – the current level is twenty percent.

No-one at IPC and AOL was prepared to comment on the latest report.

News source: Financial Times