Media News

Foreign ownership concerns hurting Forbes deal

February 9, 2023

Posted by Chris Roush

Fear of U.S. government scrutiny is holding up a deal to sell Forbes to a foreign buyer, leaving the company scrambling to find U.S. investors, report Ben Smith and Liz Hoffman of Semafor.

Smith and Hoffman report, “Shiv Khemka, an Indian billionaire whose fortune was amassed over decades living in Russia, has been leading the purchase of the iconic, if shopworn, American finance brand. But Forbes’ bankers have told U.S. investors that they are looking for help to smooth the deal’s approval by American national-security regulators, people familiar with the matter said.

“Forbes’ owners, a group of Asian investors that bought it in 2014, have been in talks since the fall to sell it to a firm controlled by Khemka and GSV, a Silicon Valley venture firm, Axios reported in December and Semafor confirms, with a deal price of slightly less than $800 million.

“Citigroup bankers have been canvassing private-equity shops and family offices for names that might win approval from Washington, the people said. The goal, some of the people said, is to raise enough additional American money to make Khemka a minority investor.”

Read more here.

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