OLD Media Moves

Forbes sells majority stake to international investors

July 18, 2014

Posted by Chris Roush

Forbes Media LLC announced Friday an agreement where a group of international investors will purchase a majority stake in the company  for an undisclosed amount.

The Forbes family will retain a minority ownership stake, will stay actively involved in Forbes Media and will work with the investor group.

Upon closing, Elevation Partners, which invested in the company in 2006, will fully exit its minority investment in Forbes Media. Forbes Media is profitable and, in 2013, achieved its best financial performance in the last six years.

The newly formed Hong Kong-based investor group Integrated Whale Media Investments is composed of international investors. The group is led by Integrated Asset Management (Asia) Ltd. IAM, which was founded by Tak Cheung Yam, is a Hong Kong-based investment company primarily engaged in public and private equity investments, with expertise in telecommunications, finance and technology.

Another significant investor in IWM, Wayne Hsieh is the Co-Founder of ASUSTeK Computer Inc., one of the world’s leading PC vendors and the No.1 motherboard manufacturer in the world. He is based in Singapore.

The investor group will provide capital, as well as financial and operational expertise, and intends to leverage its international relationships to expand Forbes Media’s reach internationally.

In partnership with IWM, Forbes Media will build on the wide and rapidly expanding appeal of the Forbes brand that today reaches approximately 75 million people worldwide with its business message through print, digital, TV, conferences, research, social and mobile each month.

Forbes Media LLC will retain its operating name and will remain a privately-held, independent company headquartered in the U.S. Steve Forbes will maintain his role as chairman and editor-in-chief, and current president and CEO Mike Perlis will continue to lead the company’s management team.

Forbes Media’s Asian business will continue to be directed out of Singapore under Forbes Media CEO/Asia Will Adamopoulos.

“This is a major milestone for the company and our family, and we’re pleased to partner with a forward-looking investor group to further drive the evolution and growth of this exceptional company,” said Forbes in a statement. “Our partners respect our brand and values, and support our longstanding mission of championing entrepreneurship and free market capitalism through quality, independent business journalism. The best evidence of their commitment to what we stand for is their insistence on the continued involvement of the Forbes family, the current management and our highly talented editorial team. I will remain deeply involved in the future of the company.”

In the U.S., Forbes magazine, the iconic front door to the Forbes brand, has increased its readership to more than 6 million.

Internationally, since 2008, Forbes has expanded its publishing activities from nine licensed local editions around the world to 36, covering 63 countries in 21 different languages. Forbes’ digital footprint has exponentially broadened as Forbes.com has transformed from a web site to a robust publishing platform.

Currently, Forbes has 24 international web sites. The company’s growth has also been fueled by new brand extensions, including conferences, real estate, education, financial services and technology license agreements.

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