News publisher Forbes to go public through merger

Deal with blank-cheque firm Magnum Opus Acquisition as activity heats up in the media

Malcolm Stevenson who is the editor-in-chief of Forbes. Photograph: Joel Page/AP

Malcolm Stevenson who is the editor-in-chief of Forbes. Photograph: Joel Page/AP

 

News publisher Forbes Global Media Holdings has agreed to go public through a merger with blank-cheque firm Magnum Opus Acquisition as deal activity heats up in the media business.

The combined company will have a pro forma equity value of $630 million (€536 million), according to a statement. Forbes’ management team will remain in place after the deal, which is expected to close in late fourth quarter 2021 or early first quarter 2022.

The announcement is the latest merger in the increasingly active news-media space, which also saw BuzzFeed agree in June to go public through a deal with a special-purpose acquisition company.

Separately on Thursday, German publisher Axel Springer agreed to buy Washington news site Politico.

The Forbes transaction is expected to raise about $600 million of gross proceeds, including $200 million of cash in Magnum Opus’ trust account and $400 million of additional capital through a private placement of ordinary shares, the companies said.

Forbes said it will capitalise on its brand and technology to “convert readers into long-term, engaged users of the platform” through memberships, recurring subscriptions and targeted product offerings.

BC 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 US president. – Bloomberg