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Forbes Media up for sale

Forbes Media, the publisher of Forbes magazine, is exploring a sale and has hired Deutsche Bank AG to represent it.

In a Friday letter to employees, Mike Perlis said that Forbes Media has received “more than a few” indications of interest from potential buyers.

According to Publisher’s Information Bureau, Forbes Media’s U.S. advertising sales were $275 million last year, down 19% since 2008.

Of total ad revenues, digital ad revenues now make up about 55% versus print at 45%.

The company has been making many changes to its family-run business over the years. In 2010, Forbes also acquired a startup called True/Slant to make an aggressive push into the digital. That was also the year Steve Forbes and his brother Tim Forbes stepped down to let Perlis take over the CEO role.

In 2006, The Forbes family tried to stabilise its declining profit margin by selling a 45% stake to Elevation Partners, the private equity firm that counts U2 singer Bono as a co-founder and managing director.

According to Reuters, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday that Forbes Media is hoping to fetch between US$400 million and US$500 million in a potential sale.

In recent times, other major news and magazine publications that saw a change of hands include the Washington Post, which was  sold to Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, as well as the Wall Street Journal being sold by the Bancroft family in 2007.

Newsweek recently closed its print edition and Time Warner is preparing to spin off its Time Inc unit, which includes Time Magazine, Sports Illustrated and People next year.

Forbes Asia could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.

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