Timeshare king Wyndham Destination buys Travel + Leisure for $100 million

·2 min read

Wyndham Destinations (WYND) is taking a one-way trip to Resort De Content.

The timeshare giant said Wednesday it will plunk down $100 million to buy the 50-year-old Travel + Leisure (TNL) brand from publisher Meredith Corporation (MDP). It’s a clever deal that Wyndham — which is the largest player in the timeshare market — says will help broaden its reach with vacation goers by tapping into TNL’s beloved travel stories, guides and trip planning tools.

Wyndham Destinations believes the transaction will be neutral to earnings in year one after closing and accretive in year two. Once the deal closes in mid-February, Wyndham will change its corporate name to Travel + Leisure Co. and trade under the ticker symbol ‘TNL’ on the New York Stock Exchange.

“We acquired Travel + Leisure, including access to their global audience of 20 million loyal followers across multiple platforms and nearly 60,000 club members, because they match our passion and purpose to put the world on vacation. Over the past 18 months, we have laid the foundation to expand our footprint beyond our core vacation ownership business and, today, we add one of the most trusted and influential brands in travel through the acquisition of Travel + Leisure. This iconic brand, along with their authoritative content and wide audience, will help accelerate and amplify the growth of new capital-light travel businesses and services, as we take the next step in expanding our reach within the global leisure travel industry,” said Wyndham Destinations CEO Michael Brown in a statement.

To ensure TNL’s journalistic integrity, Meredith will continue to operate and monetize the brand’s media assets under a 30-year royalty-free, renewable licensing deal. The publication will still be run by Editor-in-Chief Jacqui Gifford and Senior Vice President, Group Publisher Giulio Capua.

For Meredith, the transaction is just the latest in a series of non-core asset sales it has made since buying publisher Time in January 2018 for $2.8 billion. In October 2019, Meredith unloaded personal finance publication Money to Ad Practitioners LLC for an undisclosed sum. Earlier that year, Meredith sold Sports Illustrated to Authentic Brands for $150 million.

Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon bought business publication Fortune in December 2018 for $150 million. And in September 2018, Salesforce founder Marc Benioff scooped up Time magazine for $190 million.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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