Forbes Media in Talks to Go Public Via Magnum Opus SPAC
(Bloomberg) -- Forbes Media LLC is discussing going public through a merger with Magnum Opus Acquisition Ltd., a blank-check firm, according to people with knowledge with the matter.
Forbes is set to be valued at more than $650 million in a deal with the Hong Kong-based special purpose acquisition company, the people said. A deal with Magnum Opus, if reached, would scuttle Forbes’s earlier talks with a consortium led by Michael Moe’s GSV Asset Management, one of the people said. That transaction, which would have seen the business-news publisher remain private, was slated to value it at more than $600 million, Bloomberg News reported in May.
Bill Hankes, a spokesman for Forbes, declined to comment. Representatives for Magnum Opus and GSV declined to comment.
In 2014, Hong Kong-based Integrated Whale Media Investments, led by Tak Cheung “TC” Yam, acquired a majority stake in Forbes in a deal that valued the company at $475 million. Forbes’s founding family retained a minority stake following that transaction, it said at the time.
B.C. Forbes founded the magazine in 1917, and later handed the reins to his son Malcolm. Malcolm’s son Steve then ascended to president and chief executive officer, as well as editor-in-chief of the magazine, in 1990. He twice ran for U.S. president.
The company, which curates “30 Under 30” and “50 Over 50” lists, says its brand reaches more than 140 million people worldwide and that it produces 32 licensed local editions in 71 countries.
Magnum Opus, led by Chairman and CEO Jonathan Lin, a former Point72 executive, raised $200 million in a March initial public offering. The vehicle, sponsored by investment firm L2 Capital, has said it will search globally for a target operating in the global consumer, technology or media sectors “with disruptive growth potential through the use of technology that can benefit from operations in Asia.”
Forbes competes with Bloomberg LP’s Bloomberg News in tracking the wealth of billionaires around the world, delivering financial news and hosting events.
A deal with Magnum Opus would make Forbes the latest media company to ink a deal with a SPAC, following a June agreement by BuzzFeed Inc.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.