Forbes Media LLC, the closely held publisher founded by the family of former U.S. presidential candidate Steve Forbes, is exploring a sale after getting interest from potential buyers.
The New York-based publisher of 96-year-old Forbes magazine and Forbes.com is working with Deutsche Bank AG on the sale, according to a memo sent to the company’s employees from Chief Executive Officer Mike Perlis.
Forbes expects at least $400 million in the sale, said a person familiar with the matter. The company isn’t likely to fetch more than $200 million, another person said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.
Magazine publishers are selling storied brands as they struggle with declines in advertising revenue and circulation amid competition from the Internet. Newsweek, the 80-year-old publication, was sold to IBT Media in August by IAC/InterActiveCorp, and McGraw-Hill Cos. sold Businessweek, which was founded in 1929, to Bloomberg LP in 2009. Maxim magazine, the bawdy men’s title, was sold to Darden Media Group by its creditors in September.
Editions of the magazine are published in Asia and Europe. In the U.S., advertising sales were $275 million last year, down 19 percent since 2008, according to the Publisher’s Information Bureau.
B.C. Forbes founded the magazine in 1917, and it prospered under his son Malcolm, becoming a champion of capitalism and showcase for American wealth. Malcolm’s son, Steve, ascended to president and chief executive officer of Forbes and editor-in- chief of the magazine in 1990. He twice ran unsuccessfully for U.S. president as a Republican candidate in the 1996 and 2000 primaries.