The new Hong Kong-based investor group Integrated Whale Media Investments has purchased an 80 percent ownership stake in Forbes Media LLC for approximately $300 million, according to Deutsche Welle. The Forbes family will retain a significant ownership interest, while minority owners Elevation Partners will exit their investment.
Integrated Whale Media Investments (IWM) is a new group of international investors led by International Asset Management Asia (IAM), a Hong Kong-based company specializing in public and private equity investments. Significant investors include Tak Cheung Yam, the leader of IAM, and Wayne Hsieh, cofounder of the Singaporean tech corporation ASUStek. “The group will 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,” Forbes said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Forbes family will maintain a minority interest in the company. Steve Forbes will be kept on as chairman and editor-in-chief, as will CEO Mike Perlis. The well-known brand, which has been controlled by the Forbes family for 97 years, has been on the market since November after several years of falling profits.
This announcement comes just months after Chinese millionaire Chen Guangbiao’s proposal to purchase the New York Times. The offer was quickly rejected by the Times, but readers should expect to see more of a Chinese investment presence in the United States media sector, especially in broadcast media, according to news industry analyst Ken Doctor.
“In many sectors, we’re moving beyond Chinese licensing of brands and technologies to Chinese ownership. It is a natural evolution, and one we’re going to see more of,” said Doctor in an interview with Deutsche Welle.