Russian tycoon Magomed Musaev has claimed he’s the money behind the recent acquisition of Forbes, instead of tech founder Austin Russell, according to five audio recordings and one video recording obtained by The Washington Post in which he discussed the deal.
Catherine Belton, Todd C. Frankel and Elizabeth Dwoskin of The Post report, “‘I just bought global Forbes,’ Musaev told one of his associates, according to the material, referring to the Forbes Media Group, which includes the U.S. edition of the magazine. ‘You understand when you have in your hands the key to the most authoritative global brand, this key will give me access to anyone.’
“Musaev repeated the claim again and again, according to the tapes. In one of the recordings, the videotape reviewed by The Post, he called Russell ‘the face’ of the deal and insisted his own involvement be kept quiet. ‘I am doing it more subtly,’ he said, according to the recording. ‘You understand,’ he said at one point, ‘I am not working with a sledgehammer, nor with a scalpel, but with a laser.’
“Musaev’s comments raise fresh questions about potential foreign influence in a major media deal, which has been a source of controversy for more than a year, attracting criticism on Capitol Hill and scrutiny by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.”
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