SPACs still haven’t shown any sign of dying. After Grab, now business news and information publisher Forbes Media LLC reportedly is discussing going public by merging with a SPAC.
Several media companies, like Bustle Digital Group and Buzzfeed, have jumped in the game before Forbes did. There has been a shift in the digital media industry, causing several changes in media brands’ business operation. Appealing readers to subscribe and advertisers to put ads on the media are two things that media brands try to push more. In this case, SPACs are seen as an easy way to help finance acquisitions for multiple media properties.
In addition to the IPO plan through a SPAC, the owner of Forbes is also fielding offers from bidders. One of them includes investment vehicle Borderless Services Inc. The company, according to a source from Reuters, put $700 million for the bid. The source further noted that Forbes received a bid through a consortium led by tech investor Michael Moe. The two bids will keep Forbes stay as a privately held company.
Forbes’ current situation
Currently, Hong Kong-based investor group Integrated Whale Media Investments owns 95% of Forbes. The company has been the majority owner of Forbes since seven years ago. Meanwhile, the Forbes family owns the remaining 5%. Forbes’ ownership, however, might change through whatever deal comes from the bidding.
If Forbes’ plan to go public through SPAC comes through, the existing owner of the company could benefit from a share price increase or vice versa. However, no information on the SPAC to work with Forbes is revealed yet.
In relation to this, a spokesman from Forbes said, “We have no comment, but investors have consistently shown interest in Forbes, which has produced three years of record results. 2021 is shaping up to be a strong year as well.”
Neither Integrated Whale Media nor Moe and Borderless Services also gave comment on the issue.
The Borderless Services is tied in a debt financing commitment with private equity firm Ares Management Corp. Thus, if Borderless Services ends up being the winner of the bid, it is possible to see cryptocurrency products in collaboration with the media company in the form of Forbes digital waller, sources from Reuters said. Likewise, Ares Management remained silent on the matter.
While no information shared with Reuters has been made legal, Forbes might end up with zero deal accepted or even add another bidder in the future.