Is a Russian billionaire about to buy the world’s authority on billionaires? (Update: No, says Forbes.)
Russian private equity firm Onexim — founded by billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov — is rumoured to be buying Forbes, according to Russian news reports translated by Yakov Sadchikov, CEO of Web search firm Quintura.
Sadchikov is Russian, so we assume his translation is accurate. But we have no idea how accurate the Russian publications are, or how far along they say the sale is.
Forbes’ holdings include Forbes magazine, Forbes.com, Investopedia, and a stake in RealClearPolitics. We assume the Forbes brothers’ real estate holdings and Highlander yacht wouldn’t be included in any sale.
How much would Forbes sell for? In August, 2006, private equity firm Elevation Partners bought a 40%-plus stake for a reported $250 million to $300 million, suggesting a valuation around $625 million to $750 million at the time.
Forbes is in the process of integrating sales and marketing across its magazine and Web groups, and will integrate its newsrooms next year. The company recently gutted its ForbesAutos.com, ForbesTraveler.com, and conference groups.
Disclosure: I previously worked for Forbes.com.
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