Fortune magazine sold to Thai investor for $150m
Geneva — Meredith Corporation agreed to sell Fortune magazine and its related businesses for $150m, furthering the company’s efforts to shed the news-focused brands it acquired in buying Time.
The buyer is Thai businessperson Chatchaval Jiaravanon, an owner of the Charoen Pokphand Group conglomerate, Meredith said in a statement on Friday. He will own Fortune in a personal capacity, continuing a growing trend of wealthy investors snapping up venerable journalism outlets. Meredith sold Time magazine in September to Salesforce.com founder Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne, for $190m.
“Our vision is to establish Fortune as the world’s leading business media brand, with an always-on reach and global relevance,” Jiaravanon said in the statement.
Fortune was founded in 1930 during the Great Depression — a few years after sister publication Time — and its Fortune 500 ranking of corporations became synonymous with big business. Fortune competes with Bloomberg News, a unit of Bloomberg LP, in providing financial news and information.
Alan Murray will continue to lead Fortune as president and CEO, with Clifton Leaf remaining editor in chief.
Iowa-based Meredith bought Time earlier in 2018, saying it would sell the company’s news and sports brands, Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated and Money, to focus on female-targeted lifestyle titles that fit better with Meredith’s existing magazine stable. The company said it would use the Fortune proceeds to pay down debt.