The publication will continue to produce its famous scorecards of the rich and powerful, but without the backing of U2’s Bono. A new entity, called Integrated Whale Media Investments, just bought a majority stake in Forbes Media — including the preferred shares owned by Elevation Partners, the private equity firm the singer co-founded. The new ownership group pledges to “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,” it says this morning.
Forbes Media Chairman Steve Forbes hung out the for-sale sign late last year, seeking at least $400M. Today’s announcement does not disclose terms of the deal, but The New York Times reports that “a person close to the deal” says the purchase valued Forbes Media at $475M.
Elevation paid $264M in 2006 for its minority interest. The Forbes family will “retain a significant ownership stake, will stay actively involved,” the announcement says.
Steve Forbes calls the transaction “a major milestone for the company and our family.” The new owners “support our longstanding mission of championing entrepreneurship and free market capitalism.”