Forbes

Forbes enterprise valued at $750 million in 2009

Forbes is an American business magazine owned by Forbes, Inc. Published biweekly, it features original articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics. Forbes also reports on related subjects such as technology, communications, science, and law. Its headquarters are in New York City. Primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune and Bloomberg Businessweek. The magazine is well known for its lists and rankings, including its lists of the richest Americans (the Forbes 400) and rankings of world’s top companies (the Forbes Global 2000). The motto of Forbes magazine is “The Capitalist Tool”. Its editor-in-chief is Steve Forbes and its CEO is Mike Perlis.

B. C. Forbes, a financial columnist for the Hearst papers, and his partner Walter Drey, the general manager of the Magazine of Wall Street, founded Forbes magazine in 1917. Forbes provided the money and the name and Drey provided the publishing expertise. The original name of the magazine was Forbes: Devoted to Doers and Doings. Drey became vice-president of the B.C. Forbes Publishing Company, while B.C. Forbes became editor-in-chief, a post he held until his death in 1954. B.C. Forbes was assisted in his later years by his two eldest sons, Bruce Charles Forbes (1916–1964) and Malcolm Stevenson Forbes (1917–1990).

Bruce Forbes took over on his father’s death, and his strengths lay in streamlining operations and developing marketing. During his tenure, 1954–1964, the magazine’s circulation nearly doubled.

On Malcolm’s death, his eldest son Malcolm Stevenson “Steve” Forbes Jr. (1947–) became President and Chief Executive of Forbes and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes magazine. Between 1961 and 1999 the magazine was edited by James Michaels. In 1993, under Michaels, Forbes was a finalist for the National Magazine Award. In 2006, an investment group Elevation Partners that includes rock star Bono bought a minority interest in the company. A 2009 New York Times report said: “40 percent of the enterprise was sold … for a reported $300 million, setting the value of the enterprise at $750 million. According to Mark M. Edmiston of AdMedia Partners, ‘It’s probably not worth half of that now.'” In November 2013, Forbes Media, which publishes Forbes magazine, was put up for sale. Forbes headquarters on 5th Avenue in Manhattan (now owned by New York University)

Sales documents prepared by Deutsche Bank revealed that while Forbes is seeking price of over $400M, the 2012 EBITDA was only $15M