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Forbes sells majority stake to group of international investors

FinanceFinance

Forbes Media, publisher of the eponymous financial magazine and website, has sold a majority stake of the company to a group of Hong Kong-based international investors, the company said Friday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a source close to the deal puts the number around $475 million, reported The New York Times.

The group of buyers, which operates under the name Integrated Whale Media Investments, is led by Integrated Asset Management (IAM), an investment company primarily focused in telecommunications, finance and technology.

Wayne Hsieh, co-founder of ASUSTeK Computer, the No.1 global manufacturer of motherboards for PCs, is also a primary investor in the venture.

“This is a major milestone for the company and our family, and we’re pleased to partner with a forward-looking investor group to further drive the evolution and growth of this exceptional company,” said Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media.

The Forbes family will maintain a “significant” interest in the media company, and Steve Forbes will continue to serve as the chairman and editor-in-chief. CEO Mike Perlis will remain in the top management role.

Elevation Partners, which has been an investor in Forbes since 2006, will fully exit its investment in the company upon closing of the deal. Elevation originally invested $264 million in the media company and will reap a majority of the sales proceeds, Fortune’s Dan Primack reported previously.

Elevation investors that will cash out include U2 frontman Bono and former Apple executive Fred Anderson.

The investor group will provide capital, as well as financial and operational expertise, as Forbes looks to continue its growth globally. In addition to its flagship U.S. magazine and website, Forbes has 36 licensed local editions across 63 countries in 21 different languages, along with 24 international websites.

“Given the tremendous growth of digital in the past decade, Forbes Media’s future plans will include additional internet and social media expansion projects,” Tak Cheung Yam, Chairman and Founder of IAM, said in a statement. “Together with the Forbes family and the management team, along with the appropriate strategic and financial support, we will find new ways to unlock the value of the Forbes brand.”

Forbes Media, which has been trying to find a buyer since November, will remain a privately-held independent company headquartered in the U.S. The transaction is expected to be completed later this year.