Forbes Media LLC, which has been on the block since last year, said Friday it would sell a majority stake to a group of Asian investors.
The terms of the deal, which is expected to be completed this year, were not disclosed. Forbes, which includes its namesake magazine and website, as well as its conference business and other ventures, put itself up for sale for between $400 million and $500 million, according to reports.
Many in the industry balked at that lofty price.
The newly-formed Hong Kong-based investor group, Integrated Whale Media Investments, which is led by Integrated Whale Media Investments, will become Forbes’ new co-owner.
As a result, Elevation Partners, co-owners with the Forbes family, will completely exit its investment in the company.
“As more market-based economies emerge globally, interest in the information that Forbes provides and the message it delivers resonates with a growing audience,” said Tak Cheung Yam, chairman and founder of IAM. “Given the tremendous growth of digital in the past decade, Forbes Media’s future plans will include additional internet and social media expansion projects. Together with the Forbes family and the management team, along with the appropriate strategic and financial support, we will find new ways to unlock the value of the Forbes brand.”
The firm will retain its operating name and will remain a privately-held, independent company headquartered in the U.S. Steve Forbes will keep his role as chairman and editor-in-chief, and current president and ceo Mike Perlis will continue to lead the company’s management team. Additionally, Forbes’ Asian business will continue to be directed out of Singapore under Forbes Asia ceo 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,” Steve Forbes said, adding that the company is profitable and in 2013, achieved its “best financial performance in the last six years.”
Financial figures to back that up were not provided by Forbes.