The Wall Street Journal: Forbes sold to Asian investors

By Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg

Bloomberg News/file 2012

Steve Forbes,

The Forbes family is giving up control of the business magazine which bears its name, striking a deal to sell a majority stake in Forbes Media LLC to a Hong Kong investor group for more than $ 300 million, according to people familiar with the sale.

The Forbes family will retain a “significant” but undisclosed minority ownership position in the company after the sale, which values the entire company at $ 475 million. Steve Forbes, chairman and editor in chief, will remain with the company, as will Mike Perlis, its chief executive.

The deal allows the family to buy out minority shareholder Elevation Partners LLC, a private-equity firm that invested $ 264 million in 2006 and had the right to redeem the stake in 2016. A person close to the situation said Elevation would recoup substantially all of its investment. The Forbes family will take some cash out as well, although the precise amount isn’t known.

The need to buy out Elevation, which was still owed the bulk of its original investment, meant the family had a big incentive to reach a price close to $ 400 million.

The buyer is an investor group, Integrated Whale Media Investments, led by Tak Cheung Yam, chairman and founder of Integrated Asset Management (Asia) Ltd. It also includes Wayne Hsieh, co-founder of computer maker Asustek Computer Inc.

In a statement, Yam said, “Given the tremendous growth of digital in the past decade, Forbes Media’s future plans include additional Internet and social media expansion projects.”

An expanded version of this report appears on – Top Stories

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