According to a business official, Forbes is in advanced discussions to sell itself to a group of investors. If the sale goes through, new owners would take over the chronicler of the affluent and powerful.
According to two sources familiar with the situation, Forbes was hoping for a selling price of at least $800 million but is now expecting to settle for less. Bill Hankes, the company’s spokesperson, stated that the pool of prospective buyers includes both domestic and international investors.
Forbes, first published as a magazine in 1917, is famous for its annual rankings of the wealthiest businesses in the world. Forbes, like other magazines, has seen its print advertising sales decline in recent years. To offset this loss of income, the magazine has turned to sponsored events with high-profile speakers and established franchises like “30 Under 30,” which honours rising stars in a variety of fields.
Earlier this year, Forbes reported that it had a big and rapidly expanding company. The corporation reported February earnings of $259 million, up 40 percent over the prior year.
Forbes has put a lot of effort into expanding its overseas operations in recent years, and this has earned the company the support of investors throughout the world. A consortium led by Hong Kong billionaire Tak Cheung Yam and Singaporean AsusTek Computer co-founder Wayne Hsieh acquired a controlling ownership in the firm from the Forbes family in 2014.
Forbes, like many other media organisations, has had trouble convincing public market investors of the merits of a hefty price. As regulatory scrutiny dampened investor excitement for Wall Street’s once-favorite offering, the business abandoned a deal with a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, earlier this year that would have taken the company public at a price of $630 million.
In recent years, business journals have become frequent prey for dealmakers looking to woo an affluent audience. Dow Jones, a division of News Corp that publishes The Wall Street Journal, purchased Investor’s Business Daily last year in order to expand its research offerings to its readership. In 2017, the financial-focused publication Bankrate was purchased by Red Ventures, a digital media business backed by private equity, for $1.4 billion.
Forbes’ long-time competitor, Fortune, was purchased by a Thai billionaire for $150 million in 2018.