Daily Management Review

Buying Of Controlling Stake In Forbes Being Discussed With China's HNA And The Magazine: Reuters


Buying Of Controlling Stake In Forbes Being Discussed With China's HNA And The Magazine: Reuters
With an eye to buy a controlling stake in the owner of the publisher of Forbes magazine, the acquisitive Chinese conglomerate HNA Group is in talks with the magazine, reports news agency Reuters citing credible information from two sources with knowledge of the matter.
One of the sources, who declined to be identified as the talks are confidential, was quoted by Reuters saying that Hong Kong-based investor group Integrated Whale Media Investments (IWM) is scouting for more potential buyers for most or all of its stake, and this holder of 95 percent of Forbes Media is also in talks with another Chinese media firm.
Reuters was not able to confirm the names of the other possible bidders.
A source reportedly said that talks for a deal worth at least $400 million has been going on for a couple of weeks with IWM by HNA which is ranked 353rd in the 2016 Fortune Global list of the world's biggest 500 companies.
While HNA didn't respond to a Reuters request for comment, IWM and Forbes Media declined to comment.
Its controlling share in Forbes Media was given up to IWM by the Forbes family, which founded the American financial magazine 100 years ago, three years ago and this is the first move to sell part of the company since that restructuring of equity control. a source familiar with the transaction has said  that the transaction valued the Forbes company at $475 million.
Expanding out of its traditional business of aviation and logistics into financial, media and cultural sectors, HNA, which has more than $100 billion in assets, has been on an acquisition spree.
Records with China's state-run corporate register showed that Beijing Lianban Caixun Cultural Media, a media firm that runs the website of influential financial publication Caijing magazine, was bought for an undisclosed sum by HNA Capital, the group's financial arm, which bought an 80 percent stake in  the former late last year.
"Going forward, HNA will continue to scout for good-quality domestic and international media assets," the second source said. "HNA wants to display publications owned or invested by it on its planes, in its hotels across the world."
At a time when Beijing is flexing its "soft power" muscles to extend its global influence,, the taking place of the media deals bears some significance. It would launch a new global media platform to help re-brand China overseas, China Central Television, the country's largest TV network, said last year.
In the past few years, having either acquired or invested in a growing portfolio of media and content firms is Chinese internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong's flagship English-language newspaper and other media assets of SCMP Group Ltd were snapped by it in late 2015 for $266 million in late 2015.

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