Forbes Media LLC, the closely held publisher run by former U.S presidential candidate Steve Forbes, is exploring selling after receiving interest from potential buyers.
The New York-based publisher of 96-year-old Forbes magazine and Forbes.com is working with Deutsche Bank AG on the sale, according to a memo sent to the company’s employees. Forbes is seeking at least $400 million, said a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified as the information is private.
Magazine publishers are selling storied brands as they struggle with declines in advertising revenue and circulation amid competition from the Internet. Newsweek, the 80-year-old publication, was sold to IBT Media in August by IAC/InterActiveCorp, and McGraw-Hill Cos. sold Businessweek, which was founded in 1929, to Bloomberg LP in 2009. Maxim magazine, the bawdy men’s title, was sold to Darden Media Group by its creditors in September.
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Bloomberg LP, the New York-based news and financial information provider, is the also the parent of Bloomberg News which competes with Forbes.
Editions of the magazine are published in Asia and Europe. Its U.S. advertising sales were $275 million last year, down 19 percent since 2008, according to the Publisher’s Information Bureau.
Elevation Partners, which is run by Roger McNamee and backed by U2 lead singer Bono, paid about $240 million for about 45 percent of the company in 2006, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
B.C. Forbes founded the magazine in 1917 and it prospered under his son Malcolm, becoming a champion of capitalism and showcase for American wealth. Malcolm’s son, Steve, ascended to president and chief executive officer of Forbes and editor-in- chief of the magazine in 1990. He twice ran unsuccessfully for U.S. president as a Republican candidate in the 1996 and 2000 primaries.
Elevation Partners, which is run by Roger McNamee and backed by U2 lead singer Bono.
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