Forbes To Sell Majority Stake To Hong Kong-Based Investor Group

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Steve Forbes, president and chief executive of Forbes Inc. and chief executive and editor-in-chief of Forbes Magazine, speaks during the opening gala of the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Singapore September 8, 2008.

Forbes Media publisher Steve Forbes on Friday announced his company is selling a majority stake to a Hong Kong-based group of investors.

The New York Times quotes an individual close to the deal as saying it values Forbes at $475 million. Meanwhile, Elevation Partners, which had owned 45 percent of Forbes Media, is pulling its investment out.

The Forbes family will remain involved in the 97-year-old company, founded by Steve’s grandfather, and the management team will not change. Steve Forbes himself will remain chairman and editor-in-chief and the company will retain its name. Forbes says that the investor group, Integrated Whale Media Investments (IWM) “respect[s] our brand and values, and support[s] our longstanding mission of championing entrepreneurship and free market capitalism through quality, independent business journalism.”

According to a press release, IWM will “provide capital, as well as financial and operational expertise, and it intends to leverage its international relationships to strategically enlarge Forbes Media’s reach on a global scale.” Forbes Media will remain based in the U.S. 

IWM is led by Integrated Asset Management Limited, which was founded by Tal Cheung Yam, a Hong Kong-based investment firm. Wayne Hsieh of ASUSTek Computer Inc. (ASUS) is a “significant investor.”

Forbes magazine was founded by financial writers B.C. Forbes and Walter Drey in 1917. It currently operates a print magazine and an online publication, which it founded in 1996. Forbes is known for its countdown lists, like the richest people, top companies and most powerful people in the world. Forbes is headquartered in New York City.

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