Forbes Majority Stake Sold to Billionaire Austin Russell, Company Valued at $800 Million
Forbes Global Media Holdings has a new owner. On Friday, the company confirmed that Austin Russell, the 28-year-old billionaire founder of electric vehicle startup Luminar Technologies, has acquired a majority stake in a deal that values the company at $800 million.
Russell’s 82% stake in the company includes what until now were the last remaining shares still owned by the Forbes family, bringing a firm end to just over a century of family ownership. Integrated Whale Media, the Hong Kong-based company that until Friday was Forbes’ majority owner, will retain a minority stake. The Forbes family sold their majority stake in the company in 2014.
“Forbes is something I had always looked up to as a brand and as a media empire,” Russell said in a statement Friday.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Russell will not be involved in the media company’s news coverage or operations on a day-to-day basis, but will focus on the business’ “philanthropy” and growth.
“This is an important milestone in Forbes’ storied history, and an achievement that everyone on the Forbes team should be proud of,” Forbes CEO Mike Federle in a statement provided to Axios. “Over 105 years, innovation has been part of Forbes’ DNA and has kept us at the forefront of our industry. It is only fitting that now through this transaction, a true innovator and visionary, Austin Russell, will be the new steward for the brand.”
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