The Forbes family has sold their company to a group of Hong Kong investors after 97 years. The Forbeses aren’t saying how much they’ve sold, but it’s guessed to be the majority stake. Out of the picture now is Bono and Elevation Partners, who’d put money into Forbes a few years ago.
Steve Forbes wrote today on the company’s website: Our new partners respect the Forbes mission and our deep belief in entrepreneurial capitalism and free markets. They are entrepreneurs themselves. They recognize the vital importance of journalistic independence and excellence. It is very much in their self interest: violate those values and you vitiate the value and power of the Forbes name, in which they have made a substantial investment. Their insistence on continuity by keeping the Forbes family involved and retaining the current management team is the best evidence of this commitment.”
Okay, that said, who knows what will happen to Forbes? No one I know reads it or talks about it. The website is a content farm that isn’t exactly journalist friendly. The great era of Forbes ended with Malcolm Forbes 25 years ago, who partied himself into oblivion after his 1989 70th birthday extravaganza in Morocco. (He literally exploded the following year.) Nowadays, straight arrow Steve wanders around the neighborhood looking like Fred MacMurray in “Flubber.”
Good luck to them! I’m sure in no time the famous Forbes building down here on Fifth Avenue will be turned into a CVS.