Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is set to acquire a stake in business publication, Forbes, by Q1, 2022, as the media company doubles down on its inroad into the digital financial system.
The crypto firm will invest $400 million in Forbes, and aside from its capital investment, Binance will also be offering advise to Forbes on Digital Assets and Web3 Strategy.
With this deal, Binance founder and CEO, Changpeng Zhao, joined the list of tech billionaires buying media assets outside their core business, from Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, acquiring Washington Post, for $250 million.
Salesforce founder, Marc Benioff, and his wife, Lynne Benioff, purchased Time Magazine for $190 million, while several U.S community newspapers, including Los Angeles Times and the San Diego Union-Tribune were acquired with $500 million by biotech billionaire, Patrick Soon-Shiong.
The Forbes deal comes at a period the media organisation was planning an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) after merging its operation with publicly listed company, Hong Kong-based-Magnum Opus, by Q1 2022.
Both Magnum Opus merger deal (worth $630 million) and Binance’s $400 million investment make up Forbes private investment in public equity (PIPE) before it becomes a publicly-owned organisation.
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The strategic investment from Binance will come in two tranches, with the first being $200 million, but the transaction won’t surpass $400 million before the IPO.
Commenting on the Binance deal impact on Forbes, the publication’s CEO, Mike Federle said, “Forbes is committed to demystifying the complexities and providing helpful information about blockchain technologies and all emerging digital assets.”
Federle further explained that, “With Binance’s investment in Forbes, we now have the experience, network and resources of the world’s leading crypto exchange and one of the world’s most successful blockchain innovators. Forbes, already a resource for people interested in the emerging world of digital assets, can become a true leader in the field with their help.”
Also addressing the deal, Binance CEO, Zhao states that, “As Web 3 and blockchain technologies move forward and the crypto market comes of age we know that media is an essential element to build widespread consumer understanding and education.
“We look forward to bolstering Forbes’ Digital initiatives, as they evolve into a next level investment insights platform.”
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