Fosun International likely to acquire Forbes Media for less than $250M

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Feb 19, 2014 09:38 PM EST

Sources told The Deal Pipeline that China-based Fosun International Ltd is likely going to buy Forbes Media LLC. However, the purchase price for the money management magazine will probably be pegged at less than $250 million. This price is much lower than what private equity firm Elevation Partners LP, a minority stakeholder in Forbes Media, expected to get from the deal.

A source privy to the matter also told The Deal Pipeline that a stake in the business will be kept by the Forbes family. Sources added that while the details of the deal still has to be threshed out, it won't be long before an agreement will be arrived at, the report said.

Estimated price ranges for Forbes Media have varied. Earlier this year, a report from the Wall Street Journal pegged the sell-side price at $400 million to $500 million. According to another report which appeared in Fortune, Elevation Partners already wrote down to $120 million the $264 million it invested in Forbes Media in 2006. However, the private equity firm could still gain from the deal and stand to get a bit of increase in the internal rate of return. Because Elevation holds preferred stock, it could get all the proceeds of the sale for as long as it is equal to or less than $250 million, the report said.

A private equity source who did not wish to be named told The Deal Pipeline in an interview, "Given the financial performance, I'm not surprised the bids came in below expectations."

Forbes divested its New York headquarters to New York University in 2010. Although terms of the deal were not provided, filings with the New York City Department of Finance revealed that the price tag was $65 million, substantially lower than the reports circulating that the media firm was asking $120 million for it. Forbes can still use their base in Fifth Avenue and 12 Street until 2015, the report said.  

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