The Forbes family, an emblem of American wealth and pioneer of business journalism, is giving up control over the media empire it cultivated for almost a century in a sale to a Hong Kong-based group.
The agreement, announced today, will hand over Forbes magazine and its widely followed ranking of the world’s richest people to Integrated Whale Media Investments. The group is led by Integrated Asset Management (Asia) Ltd., founded by investor Tak Cheung Yam, Forbes said in a statement. It didn’t disclose the price or size of the stake.
“The investor group will provide capital, as well as financial and operational expertise, and intends to leverage its international relationships to strategically enlarge Forbes Media’s reach on a global scale,” Forbes said.
Steve Forbes, the head of the family and a two-time U.S. presidential candidate, put the magazine’s parent company Forbes Media LLC up for sale in November following years of dwindling profits as digital media cut into print advertising revenue. Forbes was originally seeking at least $400 million when it hired Deutsche Bank AG to run the sale after receiving interest from potential buyers, a person familiar with the matter said at the time.
Other foreign suitors had included China’s Fosun International Ltd.; Singapore’s Spice Global Investments Pvt, whose businesses range from finance to health care and entertainment; and Germany’s Axel Springer SE, publisher of the Russian edition of Forbes magazine, people with knowledge of the matter said in February.