Forbes Media, whose magazine is known for rich lists, 'up for sale at $400 mn'

Nov 16 2013, 23:57 IST
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The company is best known for its annual rankings of wealthy individuals (Reuters) The company is best known for its annual rankings of wealthy individuals (Reuters)
SummaryForbes Media, which publishes Forbes magazine, best known for its annual billionaire and power lists, is up for sale.

Forbes Media, which publishes the Forbes magazine, best known for its annual billionaire and power lists, is up for sale and hopes to generate at least USD 400 million through the move.

Forbes Media's Chief Executive Officer Michael Perlis wrote in an email to staff that the company has received "more than a few 'over the transom' indications of interest to buy Forbes Media."

"The frequency and serious nature of these overtures have brought us to a decision point. We're organising a process to test the waters regarding a sale of Forbes Media," said Perlis, the first non-member to run the Forbes family-owned 96-year-old business magazine.

Forbes has hired Deutsche Bank to represent the company in the sale and expects interest from "numerous suitors".

A New York Times report said that according to a person familiar with the sale process, Forbes Media is expected to generate at least USD 400 million with the sale.

Time Inc is being touted as among the potential buyers for Forbes after Forbes Media executives were seen at the Time headquarters.

Founded in 1917 by B C Forbes, the magazine is among the most powerful names in business journalism.

The company hired Perlis in December 2010 to help restructure the firm and the current year is expected to mark the company's best financial performance in the last six years, strengthened by revenue growth in digital as well as licencing and conferences.

Under Perlis, the company has established a huge digital audience and in the last three years, unique visitors to Forbes.com have increased from 12 million to 26 million.

Perlis said digital revenues are expected to increase over 25 per cent by the end of the year.

"Our efforts have also focused on diversifying our revenue streams to complement our advertising-based businesses – and many of our initiatives have come to fruition this year. I will share more details about the interest in our company as events unfold," he said in the memo.

The company has a contributor network of 1,200 bloggers.

If the sale goes through, it would be another example of an iconic print publication changing hands.

The New York Times Company had this year sold its New England Media Group holdings, including The Boston Globe to businessman John Henry for USD 70 million while The Washington Post Company sold its flagship newspaper to Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos for USD 250 million.

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