KKR invests $50 mln in Next Issue Media

KKR has closed a $50 million investment in Next Issue Media. Next Issue is a joint venture formed by six publishers – Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., Rogers Communications and Time Inc. – to provide unlimited access to digital magazine content in the U.S. and Canada. The Raine Group advised Next Issue.


MENLO PARK, Calif., Dec. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Next Issue Media™, the first and only company to provide unlimited access to premium digital magazine content in the U.S. and Canada, announced today it has closed $50 million in funding from leading global investment firm KKR. The investment will support further development of Next Issue’s innovative digital magazine platform and will help deliver Next Issue’s exclusive all-you-can-eat content to a broader audience.

“Our focus at Next Issue is on the biggest brands in the magazine world so it was only natural to close our funding with the biggest brand in private equity,” said Morgan Guenther, CEO of Next Issue Media. “We are delighted to have the support and confidence from a prestigious investment partner like KKR as we expand our reach, deliver more personalization and fill one of the last subscription white spaces in the digital media world, following successful models in video and music.”

“For KKR, this investment demonstrates our belief in Next Issue.  Today’s consumer demands mobile access to large catalogs of premium content, anytime, anywhere.  Next Issue’s proven success applying this model to magazines has created a compelling consumer proposition that will serve the interests of readers, publishers, and advertisers alike,” said Richard Sarnoff, Managing Director at KKR and Head of the firm’s Media & Communications investment team in the Americas.

Next Issue has developed a singular tablet and smartphone app that delivers unlimited access to 145 of the world’s most popular magazines – from PEOPLE to Vogue to Better Homes & Gardens to Esquire – starting at only $9.99 a month.  In addition to instant, on-demand access to current issues and back catalogs, Next Issue subscribers have access to engaging and beautiful digital-only extras such as videos, extended photo galleries, Twitter feeds and live web links. The intuitive interface will also be complemented by a growing list of tools to help readers explore, share, search and discover new content in 2015.

“The publisher-owners of Next Issue are thrilled to be joined by KKR as we look to amplify our unparalleled content with new audiences in this critical channel,” commented Lynne Biggar, Time Inc. Executive Vice President of Consumer Marketing + Revenue and Chairman of the Next Issue Board of Directors.

For KKR, the investment is part of the firm’s growth equity strategy, which is focused on market-leading, high-growth companies that KKR can help reach scale and the next level of growth. KKR is funding the investment from the balance sheet of KKR & Co. LP (NYSE:KKR).

The Raine Group advised Next Issue Media on the transaction.

About Next Issue Media
Next Issue Media is a joint venture of six leading publishers – Condé Nast, Hearst Magazines, Meredith, News Corp., Rogers Communications and Time Inc.  The company was formed to bring the world’s most popular magazines to life on the digital device of your choice.

About KKR
KKR is a leading global investment firm that manages investments across multiple asset classes including private equity, growth equity, energy, infrastructure, real estate, hedge funds and credit. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns by following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing world-class people, and driving growth and value creation at the asset level. KKR invests its own capital alongside its partners’ capital and brings opportunities to others through its capital markets business. References to KKR’s investments may include the activities of its sponsored funds. For additional information about KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE: KKR), please visit KKR’s website at www.kkr.com or on Twitter @KKR Co.