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时代公司独立 变身美国历史上最高龄的初创企业

2014-06-13    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

You can’t take the Warner out of Time Warner TWX -2.94% , but apparently you can kick Time to the curb. And get paid in the process.
你不能将“华纳”从“时代华纳”(Time Warner, TWX-2.94%)中剔除,但显然可以将“时代”扫地出门,而且还能从中赚一笔。

Time Inc., the venerable magazine publisher whose titles include Fortune, this morning was spun out into an independent company by Time Warner and has begun trading on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol TIME -0.77% . Not only do shareholders in the former parent get new Time Inc. stock, but Time Warner also received $600 million via a one-time dividend paid out of Time Inc.’s $1.3 billion in recently-issued debt.
周一上午,时代公司(Time Inc.,旗下杂志包括《财富》)这家备受尊崇的杂志发行商从时代华纳分拆出来,开始在纽交所上市,交易代码为TIME(TIME-0.77%)。不仅原先母公司的股东获得了这家新公司的股票,而且时代华纳也到手6亿美元的一次性分红,资金从时代公司近期通过债务融资募集的13亿美元中支付。

Here’s the bull case for Time Inc: For years, the company had basically served as a piggy-bank for Time Warner, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in profit that it rarely got to reinvest in its own business. Why rock the boat with new digital initiatives when the paper mags provided steady, if declining, treasure? Now Time Inc. gets to chart its own course with new management, and already has begun bulking up its Web properties (including this site, which launched just last week with more than a dozen new staffers). In short, innovation will no longer be stifled. Time Inc. already has plenty of brand equity, and now it actually gets to evolve the brands to meet the current market.
看涨时代公司的观点是:多年来,这家公司基本上就是在充当时代华纳的摇钱树,催生数亿美元的利润,而又极少得以再投资于自身业务——印刷版杂志带来的财源虽然日益萎缩,但好歹也算稳定。既然如此,何苦大兴数字改革撼动现状?而如今,依靠新的管理层,时代得以规划自己的道路,而且已经开始壮大自己的网络财产(包括上周刚刚上线、聘请了十几名新员工的全新Fortune网站)。简言之,创新将不再受到遏制。时代业已拥有足够庞大的品牌资产,如今又得以发展品牌以满足当前的市场需求。

Here’s the bear case: Time Inc. may not actually know how to innovate, or at least not how to do it at scale. After all, it’s pretty tough to flip the switch when those mental muscles have been atrophied after more than a decade of being told “No, don’t spend money on that.” The up-and-coming digital talent wants pre-IPO stock at places like Buzzfeed, not options in a maxed-out Time Inc. Plus, there is all that new debt. It’s not completely unwieldy, but certainly makes Time Inc. less nimble than a rival like News Corp., which received $2 billion in cash and zero debt when it was spun off NWSA -0.17% last year.
看跌时代公司的观点是:时代也许并不知道该如何创新,或者至少不知道如何大规模创新。毕竟,听了十多年“别在这上面花钱”的忠告,这方面的思维肌肉都已经萎缩,再要扳上开关就颇为困难。那些崭露头角的数字人才要的是像Buzzfeed等公司首次公开募股前的股份,而不是几近被榨干油水的时代公司的一笔期权。况且还有那笔新债务。虽算不上负债累累,但时代的确已在灵活性上不及新闻集团(News Corp., NWSA -0.17%)这样的对手,后者在去年分拆时不但没有债务,而且还到手20亿美元现金。

Here’s the pragmatic case: There have been concerns that Time Inc. shares would sink like a stone in the early days. After all, Time Warner shareholders have been told for years that Time Inc. is a drag on earnings, so wouldn’t they want to dump fast when given the new shares? Short-seller paradise. But Time Inc. stock actually climbed in pre-market trading, suggesting two factors in play: (1) Shorts may be holding off, out of fear that they’d get squeezed if Time Inc. manages to sell off a crown jewel or two. (2) Time Inc. still does have much better financials than its reputation indicates, and even skeptics may be a bit curious to see a quarter or two of independent performance.
比较务实的观点是:一些人担忧时代股价会在上市初期一落千丈。毕竟多年以来,时代华纳股东都被告知,时代拖了集团盈利的后腿。一旦新股票到手,他们难道不会立刻抛售?这样,它就成了做空者的天堂。但时代股票在盘前交易中不跌反涨,意味着有两个因素在起作用:(1)空方暂且按兵不动,害怕假如时代成功抛售掉旗下一两个最有价值资产,他们就会惨遭轧空。(2)时代公司的财务状况仍然比传说中好得多,就连抱着怀疑态度的人也想先观察它独立后前一两个季度的业绩,然后再说。

This is where it’s worth emphasizing that I don’t come to this as an unbiased reporter. Instead, I’m on the inside looking out. My colleagues and I seem to share a sense of time-constrained optimism. It’s a sprint for the privilege of running the longer race. Consider Time Inc. a startup of sorts, or at least a leveraged reboot with an extraordinary amount of brand equity. Like most startups, there is a high probability of failure. But it is hardly predetermined.
写到这里有必要强调一下,在这个话题上,笔者的视角不能算客观。这些都是内部观察的结果。我和我的同事们似乎都只在一定时间内持乐观态度。这是一场为争夺长跑竞赛资格而展开的短跑冲刺。不妨将时代视为某种类型的初创企业,或至少是一场携巨额品牌资产进行的杠杆重启。跟大多数初创企业一样,失败的几率很高,但并非一定如此。



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