Forbes takeover bid from tech CEO Austin Russell falls through

Luminar founder and CEO Austin Russell’s takeover bid for Forbes Global Media Holdings has ended. Integrated Whale Media Investments, the Hong Kong-based parent company of Forbes, terminated the deal with Russell after Russell failed to find enough investors to close the deal.

Bloomberg was the first to report the news, citing an internal memo from Forbes CEO Mike Federle. Forbes did not respond to a request for comment.

Russell, the 28-year-old founder and tech star, announced plans in May to buy an 82% stake in Forbes Global Media Holdings in a deal that values ​​the company at nearly $800 million. dollars. The intention, which initially proved successful, was to attract a number of investors to support the acquisition. The deal was supposed to close on November 1, but fell apart after Indian investment firm Sun Group and others failed to transfer the money they were contractually obligated to, Axios reported earlier this this month. Sun Group Vice Chairman Shiv Khemka has reportedly committed to investing $300 million in the acquisition.

Russell was granted a deadline extension and has spent the past two weeks trying to close the multimillion-dollar deficit.

Forbes, a media company best known for its magazine and lists ranking billionaires, sold 95% of the company to Integrated Whale Media in 2014. Forbes Media had planned to go public through a merger with the acquisition company. special Magnum Opus Acquisition Limited. , but canceled the deal in June 2022.

Since then, Forbes has been for sale. Russell – who was described by Forbes itself in 2021 as the world’s youngest self-made billionaire – was the latest example of a tech mogul launching into the media business. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos purchased The Washington Post in 2013 and Salesforce chairman, CEO and co-founder Marc Benioff, along with his wife Lynne Benioff, acquired Time from parent company Meredith Corporation for $190 million dollars in cash in 2018. Most recently, Elon Musk purchased Twitter. as part of a tumultuous deal that resulted in the social media site being renamed to X.

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