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Forbes sells stake to group that includes Bono

The privately held Forbes said Monday it sold a minority stake in its media holdings to private equity firm Elevation Partners, which includes the singer Bono as a partner, for an undisclosed amount.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Forbes magazine said Monday it has sold a minority stake to a private equity group that includes the singer Bono of U2.

The firm, called Elevation Partners, is buying a stake in a newly formed company called Forbes Media LLC that will include the magazine and also the Web site and other media properties.

The companies did not disclose the amount of the investment or the stake that Elevation Partners is acquiring.

Forbes is unusual among business magazines in not having a large corporate backer — Fortune is owned by Time Warner Inc.’s Time Inc. unit, a major magazine publisher, and Business Week is owned by The McGraw Hill Cos., a major educational publisher that also owns the financial services business Standard & Poor’s.

Business magazines, like other print media, have been struggling in recent years as more advertising moves to the Internet.

“This investment by Elevation Partners will now accelerate our pursuit of a number of very exciting opportunities for growth,” said Forbes Chief Executive Steve Forbes, who is also editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine.

Elevation Partners’ principals include Bono; former Apple Computer Inc. finance chief Fred Anderson; former senior managing director of The Blackstone Group Bret Pearlman; and Marc Bodnick, a founding principal of Silver Lake Partners.

“The print media business is being transformed by technology, and Forbes has done a brilliant job of adapting its business to the new model,” said Roger McNamee, a partner of Elevation Partners. “Elevation is delighted to partner with the Forbes team to build on this tremendous platform and take advantage of the new opportunities being created by Internet technology.”