News publisher Forbes Global Media Holdings Inc. has agreed to go public through a merger with blank-check firm Magnum Opus Acquisition Ltd. as deal activity heats up in the media business.
The combined company will have a pro forma equity value of $630 million, according to a statement. Forbes’ management team will remain in place after the deal, which is expected to close in late fourth quarter 2021 or early first quarter 2022.
The announcement, confirming an earlier report by Bloomberg News, is the latest merger in the increasingly active news-media space, which also saw BuzzFeed Inc. agree in June to go public through a deal with a special-purpose acquisition company. Separately, German publisher Axel Springer agreed to buy Washington news site Politico.
The Forbes transaction is expected to raise about $600 million of gross proceeds, including $200 million of cash in Magnum Opus’ trust account and $400 million of additional capital through a private placement of ordinary shares, the companies said.
Forbes said it will capitalize on its brand and technology to “convert readers into long-term, engaged users of the platform” through memberships, recurring subscriptions and targeted product offerings.
B.C. Forbes founded the magazine in 1917, and later handed the reins to his son Malcolm. Malcolm’s son Steve then ascended to president and chief executive officer, as well as editor-in-chief of the magazine, in 1990. He twice ran for U.S. president.
The company, which curates “30 Under 30” and “50 Over 50” lists, said its brand reaches more than 150 million people worldwide and that it produces 45 licensed local editions in 76 countries. Forbes competes with Bloomberg LP’s news service in tracking the wealth of billionaires around the world, delivering financial news and hosting events.
Magnum Opus, led by Chairman and CEO Jonathan Lin, a former Point72 executive, raised $200 million in a March initial public offering. The vehicle, sponsored by investment firm L2 Capital, has said it will search globally for a target operating in the global consumer, technology or media sectors “with disruptive growth potential through the use of technology that can benefit from operations in Asia.”