The $100,000,000 Travel and Leisure deal

What is in a name ?

Despite contrary opinions and actions in today’s world, a good name is sure better and can eventually translate to riches, opens doors and makes room to be admired, respected and the list is endless.

The Travel +Leisure magazine is a 50+ year old media brand which has been recently acquired by Orlando,Fla based timeshare company Wyndham Destinations.  The company was originally launched in 1937 as U.S. Camera & Travel, the magazine became Travel + Leisure after American Express purchased it for its publication division in 1968. It was later acquired by Time Inc. and was part of that company’s purchase by Meredith.

Travel+Leisure magazine,Jan 2021 cover special To the Register/Meredith Corporation

The sale comes at an uncertain time for the tourism industry which has a ripple effect on the entire industry . The industry is currently facing disappointments, cancellations and resort closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, even the buyer Wyndham Destinations reported a loss of $258 million through the first nine months of 2020 and laid off or furloughed 9,000 workers at one point.

Then things changed for good as at the end of September, company executives told shareholders, Wyndham Destinations had rehired about 3,300 of those workers.

Meredith Corp. announced Wednesday that it is selling the flagship travel magazine to the timeshare giant Wyndham Destinations for $100,000,000million but the buyer isn’t concerned with the magazine so much as the title on its cover, the brand and legacy name.

All the hard work Travel + Leisure editors have been doing for 50 years led us to this point because Wyndham Destinations wants to create this whole new company centered around our brand and legacy and name, so I’m thrilled about that, said Jacqueline Gifford, editor-in-chief of Travel + Leisure.

As a result of the sale, Wyndham Destinations will rename itself Travel + Leisure Co. next month. The company (buyer) will lease the actual magazine back to Meredith (seller) as part of a 30-year-agreement, allowing the publisher to continue to produce and sell the publication. It could not be juicer nor more interesting. Just like Moses Mother, you are allowed to nurse the baby you let go and still benefit from the deal.

In addition to the $100 million cash purchase, Wyndham Destinations agreed to buy $30 million worth of ads in Meredith publications over the next five years, Meredith CEO Tom Harty said Wednesday during the Citi 2021 Global TMT West Virtual Conference. Now that is one heck of a deal !

 

“We believe there’s tremendous value in our brands that we don’t get value for,” he said. “And you have these opportunities. You can either sell or you can partner.”

Tom Harty Meredith Corporation’s newly announced CEO is pictured here. Contributed Photo/Special To The Register.

The Why 

Who is Wyndham Destinations ?

Wyndam is a rentals and Time share giant with 4 million members in its timeshare network and manages 230 resorts. They make money by selling timeshare contracts, managing resorts and helping members book vacations at a network of hotels and homes owned by other companies.

The company made this move in a bid to appeal to a generation of younger and aspirational clients/travelers.Their client base is older and time share is soon fading (story for another day) as people are more spontaneous in recent times. Their purchase interest was locked on Travel +Leisure members and followers and the circulation of the magazine was not a major concern.

Travel +Leisure has 2 membership travel clubs in existence with tens of thousands of members.

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