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Posts Tagged ‘Forbes Media’

Forbes Deal Finalized

forbes_logo_mainForbes Media officially has a lot less Forbes involved in it. In late July, a deal was struck with Hong Kong-based Asset Management (the number being thrown around was $475 million) and now it is done.

Asset Management now owns a majority of the company, officially pushing the Forbes family aside for the first time since the publisher was founded in 1917. The Forbes family still owns a minority stake that some are placing at around 20 percent.

For now, Forbes staffers can breathe easy, as no changes are planned. Until October 8, at least. The New York Post reports that’s when Forbes CEO Mike Perlis will hold a meeting with everyone to discuss what — if any — alterations are coming. Perlis is now in Hong Kong meeting with Forbes’ new owners.

Elevation Partners, which previously held about 44 percent stake in Forbes Media, has been bought out.

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Forbes Chief Product Officer Lays Out Battle Plan

Following Friday’s announcement of a majority-stake deal with Hong Kong-based Integrated Whale Media Investments, Forbes Media chief product officer Lewis DVorkin has outlined what’s in the works for the rest of the year.

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It starts, right after Labor Day, with a new vertical – ForbesLife:

On September 2, we’ll launch a luxury vertical with a simple, highly visual navigational construct. Visitors will find it easy to move around the site, marketers can engage with an audiences in new ways. We’re bringing on 150 contributors to cover the breadth of the luxury category.

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Forbes Media Sells Majority Stake to Hong Kong Investor Group

In the past six years, Forbes has expanded its international publishing reach from nine licensed local editions to 36. Content is now consumed in 63 countries, in 21 different languages.

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Today, the company solidified its international reach with the announcement that a majority stake has been sold to a group of Asian investors. From today’s release:

The newly formed Hong Kong-based investor group Integrated Whale Media Investments (“IWM”) is composed of international investors. The group is led by Integrated Asset Management (Asia) Limited (“IAM”).

IAM, which was founded by Tak Cheung Yam, is a Hong Kong-based investment company primarily engaged in public and private equity investments, with expertise in telecommunications, finance and technology. Another significant investor in IWM, Wayne Hsieh is the co-founder of ASUSTeK Computer Inc., one of the world’s leading PC vendors and the No.1 motherboard manufacturer in the world. He is based in Singapore.

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No One Wants to Buy Forbes

No one, it seems, wants to buy Forbes. According to Bloomberg News, one potential frontrunner to purchase the company is officially out, and two other bidders are no longer engaged in active talks.

It has been about six months since Forbes started fetching offers, but nothing has moved beyond preliminary discussions. China’s Fosun International — publisher of Forbes China — was considered the leader to buy Forbes, but they’re out. Two other companies — Singapore’s Spice Global Investments and Germany’s Axel Springer — have also ended discussions.

We bet you can guess the reason interest has dried up. That’s right, money! The trio of companies considered Forbes’ $400 million asking price way too expensive, so they’re moving on.

Don’t these companies realize that if they owned Forbes they could continuously publish lists of rich people and somehow people will never grow tired of them? That must be worth something.

Forbes Media Buyer Might Come from Far East

The bids for Forbes Media — which has been up for sale since last November — are all in, and word is that the frontrunners are both from the far East. According to Bloomberg News, China’s Fosun International, which publishes Forbes China, and Singapore’s Spice Global Investments, a diversified company, are both leading the pack.

Other potential buyers include Joe Mansueto, the billionaire founder and CEO of investment research firm Morningstar, and Germany’s Axel Springer, which publishes Forbes Russia.

Forbes wants $400 million for the company, and at least one media analyst believes that if an international buyer pays that much, it would be well worth it.

“Forbes used to just be a magazine, now it’s a worldwide business brand,” Ken Doctor, from Outsell Inc., told Bloomberg News. “How many people in their twenties and thirties are in emerging business markets — Asia, Africa, Latin America? That’s my sense of the great growth potential of the Forbes brand.”

Morning Media Newsfeed: Net Neutrality Invalid | Poynter Losing Money | Forbes Moves to NJ

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Court Strikes Down FCC’s Net Neutrality Rules, Agency May Appeal (GigaOM)
An appeals court in Washington on Tuesday ruled that the FCC’s “net neutrality” rules, which prevent companies like Verizon from favoring some types of Internet traffic over others, are invalid. The 81-page ruling, which was decided by a 2-1 vote with one judge dissenting in part, has big implications for content providers, consumers and the future of the Internet. Bloomberg U.S. Circuit Judge David Tatel, writing for a three-judge panel, said that while the FCC has the power to regulate Verizon and other broadband companies, it chose the wrong legal framework for its open-Internet regulations. “Given that the commission has chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers, the Communications Act expressly prohibits the commission from nonetheless regulating them as such,” Tatel wrote. NYT Internet service providers are free to make deals with services like Netflix or Amazon, allowing those companies to pay to stream their products to online viewers through a faster, express lane on the Web, the judges ruled. Federal regulators had tried to prevent those deals, saying they would give large, rich companies an unfair edge in reaching consumers. But since the Internet is not considered a utility under federal law, the court said, it is not subject to regulations banning the arrangements. BuzzFeed For years, the net neutrality nightmare scenario was as follows: Carriers, such as Comcast, could charge different amounts for access to different tiers of the Internet. The basic tier might include email and basic browsing; the next could include Facebook and Twitter; the final tier could include Netflix, YouTube or Spotify. These tiers would be divided not by bandwidth or speed requirements, but by content type. The Internet would become a club with various VIP sections, arbitrarily laid out to benefit providers. Wired / Threat Level If the decision stands, broadband providers are likely to implement pay-to-play plans like the one AT&T announced last week — plans that many said violated, at a minimum, the spirit of net neutrality.

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Billionaire Joe Mansueto Interested in Buying Forbes

Joe Mansueto, the billionaire founder and CEO of investment research firm Morningstar, is eyeing Forbes. The New York Post reports that Mansueto, is considering purchasing Forbes Media, which went up for sale in mid November.

Mansueto seems like a likely candidate to purchase the company. His Mansueto Ventures already owns Inc. and Fast Company, so he’s clearly interested in the media world. Plus, though Forbes wants about $400 million for the company, experts told the Post it won’t get nearly that much.

Mansueto’s net worth is $2.1 billion according to, well, you know who.

Forbes Names Mark Howard Chief Revenue Officer

Forbes has promoted Mark Howard from senior VP of digital advertising strategy to chief revenue officer. Howard is succeeding Meredith Kopit Levien, who left to become the new executive VP of advertising for The New York Times.

“Meredith and Mark have been close partners in driving our revenue strategy and seizing opportunities in the two hottest trends in advertising — programmatic buying and native advertising,” said Mike Perlis, president and CEO of Forbes Media, in a statement. “Mark is one of the most knowledgeable people in the marketplace on native ads and, during his more than ten years at Forbes, has become well versed in what our brand stands for, selling print and digital, and the power of our content model and publishing platform.  We look forward to his continued leadership.”

Howard has been with Forbes since 2002. Prior to joining Forbes, he held sales roles at Inc. and Fast Company.

Fortune: Forbes is in Trouble

There are three things media companies really enjoy: 1) Breaking a big story, 2) Making money and 3) Getting dirt on other media companies. According to Fortune, it has a good amount of number three. To make it even sweeter, the dirt they have is about their biggest rival – Forbes.

In a piece in the August 15 issue of Fortune, Katie Benner says that documents exclusive to Fortune have revealed Forbes Media is in a lot of financial trouble:

Forbes Media violated covenants on a revolving credit line that it took out in 2006, according to a letter sent to the company by J.P. Morgan. The loan, which was part of a series of transactions that allowed the Forbes family to cash out more than $100 million from the company, is due next July.

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Mike Perlis Named President and CEO at Forbes Media

Mike Perlis was introduced today as president and CEO of Forbes Media. Company chairman and editor-in-chief Steve Forbes made the announcement.

“With the arrival of Mike Perlis, Forbes has been joined by someone who is a proven leader, with great successes in his impressive career. We are fortunate he will be leading the company as CEO, charged with taking a great brand to greater, expanded success,” Forbes said. ”Mike is a well-liked, known and admired force in our business. His experience, coupled with the range of arenas he has spent time in, are the ideal skills that Forbes demands in the days and years moving forward. He will be joining the company on December 1st.”

Perlis joins Forbes Media from SoftBank Capital, a venture capital firm focused on high growth internet based businesses, where he served as a General Partner.  He focused on content businesses including, Beliefnet, Huffington Post, Associated Content, and Buzzfeed.  Prior to joining Softbank, Perlis served as president and CEO of Ziff- Davis Publishing, president of TVSM and president of the Playboy Publishing Group.

Photo Credit: Walter Smith

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