Thursday - Jul 27, 2017

Forbes Media to Sell Majority Stake to Hong Kong Investors


Forbes Media to Sell Majority Stake to Hong Kong Investors

Forbes Media, publisher of the famous magazine, sent shock waves across the media industry with the announcement that they have agreed to sell a majority stake in the company to a consortium of Asian investors.

The Forbes Media empire had been reported to be up for sale for some time, although they were reportedly finding it difficult to conclude a deal with a number of prospective bidders dropping out, some at advanced stages.

The consortium of Asian investors, under the umbrella title of Integrated Whale Media Investments, is led by Hong Kong based investor Tak Cheung Yam and Wayne Hsieh, co-founder of the AsusTek Computer based in Singapore.

According to initial reports, the new buyers intend to take full advantage of the Forbes brand’s residual strength in Asia, to strengthen their foothold there are investing in real estate, business clubs and financial services.

Under the terms of the agreement, most of which remains confidential, the Forbes family will be holding on to a “significant” ownership stake, while the family’s figurehead, Malcolm “Steve” Forbes, will remain in his role of chairman and editor in chief of the magazine.

Despite Steve Forbes’ twenty year tenure as head of Forbes publishing empire being recognised as some of the weakest years in its history, it was during that time that the magazine began to publish their annual list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, that would become particularly synonymous with the brand.

As has been the case throughout the global media industry, Forbes has suffered particularly badly from the general departure from print advertising exodus. Despite that subscription figures for the magazines’ print editions has remained static for the last five years at around 900,000 , and advertising income has been declining steadily, falling by more than 10% during 2013.

Towards the end of last year, indications were fairly strong that the Forbes family would be able to sell off their media empire and pick up around $400 million for the sale, with foreign buyers, in particular the Axel Springer group of Germany being particularly interested.

Despite the interest no deals were struck until Integrated Whale Media arrival on the scene.

Terms of the sale are yet to be disclosed, although the Forbes family has reportedly set a value on their Forbes Media business at around $475 million.

Photo credit: Snowmanradio – Wikimedia Commons

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