Forbes to Consider SPAC Merger

, Fox Business

Business news and information publisher Forbes Media LLC is in talks to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) as it attracts new acquisition interest

Forbes’ owner is also fielding offers worth up to $700 million from bidders including a consortium led by tech investor Michael Moe and another offer from investment vehicle Borderless Services Inc. Both of these bids would result in Forbes remaining a privately held company.

A deal could result in Forbes’ ownership changing hands seven years after Hong Kong-based investor group Integrated Whale Media Investments purchased 95% of the company. The remainder of Forbes is owned by the Forbes family.

A proposed deal with a SPAC would take Forbes public on the U.S. stock market, enabling the existing owners to benefit from any share price increase on their remaining stakes.

The identity of the SPACs in talks with Forbes was not immediately clear.

As one of the oldest media outlets in the United States, Forbes publishes its flagship magazine which reaches 6 million readers. Founded by B.C. Forbes in 1917, it has long championed capitalism and entrepreneurship and is known for its annual list of the world’s wealthiest people.

The company has been undergoing a digital transformation amid declining print revenue. It has been doubling down on expanding key franchises like Under 30 and live events, most of which have become virtual during the COVID-19 pandemic. It says its digital platform now reaches more than 140 million people with 40 global editions.

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