On Friday, Forbes met an agreement with a foreign investor group, Integrated Whale Media (IWM) Investments. The exact dollar amount of stake sold was not declared, however, sources evaluate the enterprise value of Forbes to be about USD 475 million. Forbes was looking for stake buyers since last fall and had rebuffed a USD 175 million offer from Time Warner.
IWM includes Hong Kong-based investor, Tak Cheung Yam and Singapore-based, Wayne Hsieh who is also a co-founder of ASUS. Yam, the chairman and founder of IWM, said, “Interest in the information that Forbes provides and the message it delivers resonates with a growing audience.”
The Forbes family will still retain an undisclosed, significant, but, small ownership of the company. Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes, and Mike Perlis, CEO of Forbes, will keep their positions as before. In a statement, Forbes said, “Our partners respect our brand and values, and support our longstanding mission of championing entrepreneurship and free market capitalism through quality, independent business journalism.”
Previously, Elevation Partners acquired roughly 45% of Forbes stake from 2006 to 2013. It found it difficult to get its money worth and has now recouped its investment from Forbes.
Forbes said, “Elevation has been a great partner with Forbes Media over the past eight years. This collaboration has enabled us to position ourselves for the next phase of growth that we see ahead with IWM.”
Forbes was founded in 1917 by B.C Forbes as Business Journalism for the first time and majority of stake were kept by the Forbes family till now. Its current brand portfolio includes Forbes magazine, Forbes.com, and 24 international websites, as well as a host of brand extensions including conferences, real estate, and financial services license agreements.