×

Fortune Magazine Sold to Thai Businessman for $150 Million

Meredith inked a deal to sell the Fortune business-media brand for $150 million in cash to Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon.

The deal, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close by the end of 2018. The sale of the 88-year-old Fortune brand comes after Meredith on Oct. 31 closed on the sale of Time to Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne Benioff, for $190 million.

Alan Murray, formerly chief content officer of Time Inc., will become president and CEO of Fortune. Clifton Leaf will continue as editor-in-chief. Under the new ownership, Fortune will continue to be based in New York City and the group is seeking new office space.

Currently, 170 employees are associated with Fortune. According to Murray, the full staff will be coming over in the transition to the newly established Jiaravanon-owned Fortune Media Group Holdings Ltd. Murray told Variety he was introduced to Jiaravanon through a mutual acquaintance: Bob Nardelli, former CEO of Chrysler and Home Depot. The deal came together in 21 days, Murray said.

“He’s a very charming man,” Murray said about Jiaravanon. “He cares a lot about the Fortune brand, and believes it can be a bigger global media brand than it is today.” Specifically, the Thai business mogul is interested in building up Fortune’s Hong Kong office. “He’s very interested in the China part of the business,” Murray said.

After Meredith closed its $1.85 billion acquisition of Time Inc. in January, the company said it would sell Time Inc.’s news and sports brands — Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money — as well as its investment in ad-tech company Viant Technology to focus on lifestyle and entertainment brands like People and Entertainment Weekly catering to its core audience of American women. Meredith said it expects to announce deals for SI and Money soon.

Fortune was founded in 1930 at the beginning of the Great Depression. Since then Fortune has evolved from a traditional print mag into a global multiplatform, multimedia business that includes the monthly magazine with multiple international editions; a digital news and video platform that reaches an average monthly audience of nearly 20 million; and a live-event series. Its major franchise is the Fortune 500 annual ranking of the U.S.’s biggest companies.

Jiaravanon is affiliated with Bangkok-based Charoen Pokphand Group, an international conglomerate with businesses in telecom and media; agro-food; retail and distribution; e-commerce and digital; property development; automotive and industrials; finance and investment; and pharmaceutical sectors. Owned by the Chearavanont/Jiaravanon family, the C.P. Group operates public companies such as CP Foods, CP ALL and True Corp., along with multiple private firms.

Jiaravanon is involved in C.P. Group’s technology, media and telecom businesses. He serves as a board member of telecom and cable TV provider True Corp., which holds more than $10 billion in assets, generates $4 billion in annual revenue and has 23,000 employees.

Jiaravanon will own Fortune as a personal private investment independent of C.P. Group’s family businesses. He intends to increase investment in Fortune‘s digital capabilities, geographic expansion, and editorial talent as part of a strategy to become the premium business content provider worldwide.

“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 a statement. “The demand for high-quality business information is growing, and with further committed investment in technology and brilliant journalism, we believe the outlook for further profitable growth is excellent both for the publication and the events business.”

As part of the Fortune sale, Meredith will provide “short-term business continuity services” and has entered a multiyear agreement with Jiaravanon to provide services including corporate sales, consumer marketing, subscription fulfillment, paper purchasing and printing.

“We’re pleased to have found Fortune a great home with Chatchaval Jiaravanon,” Meredith president and CEO Tom Harty said in a statement. “His dynamic leadership will enable the iconic Fortune brand to grow. We thank the Fortune team for their diligent work and wish them continued success.”

More Biz

  • CONJURING DAD – In Disney and

    ‘Onward’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the always-on TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Disney Pixar claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Onward.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.06 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Tokyo Disneyland

    Tokyo Disneyland Theme Parks Closed in Coronavirus Reaction

    The two Disney-branded theme parks in Tokyo, Japan are to close for two weeks as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus. “Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea have decided to proceed with an extraordinary closure from Saturday, Feb 29, 2020, through Sunday, Mar 15,” the operator said in a statement posted to its Japanese [...]

  • Former C3 Promoter Charlie Jones Launches

    Former C3 Promoter Charlie Jones Launches Four Leaf Productions

    Charlie Jones, a veteran producer who has worked extensively on the Lollapalooza and the Austin City Limits festivals, is today officially launching his new venture, Four Leaf Productions, which is described as “a new company built on a foundation of creating live experiences that bring people together for a purpose.” Over the course of his [...]

  • Cahiers du Cinema

    French Film Magazine Cahiers du Cinema's Staff Quits Over New Ownership

    The future of iconic French film publication Cahiers du Cinéma is in question after the outlet’s entire staff quit in protest over the brand’s new ownership. The 15-member editorial staff has spoken out against a perceived conflict of interest posed by the Cahier’s owners — a group of bankers, tech entrepreneurs and film producers that [...]

  • Lori Loughlin

    Lori Loughlin Gets October Trial Date in College Admissions Case

    A federal judge on Thursday scheduled an Oct. 5 trial for actor Lori Loughlin, her husband and six others in the college admissions bribery scandal. Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, face charges of bribery, money laundering and fraud for allegedly paying $500,000 to get their daughters admitted to USC. Attorneys for the couple alleged [...]

  • The Good Doctor

    From 'Masked Singer' to 'Good Doctor,' Korean Formats Take Hold on U.S. Screens

    Accepting his award for original screenplay at this year’s Oscars, director Bong Joon Ho triumphantly declared,  “This is a very first Oscar to South Korea.” Little did he know that the second, third and fourth were swiftly coming his way on a night that saw “Parasite” make history. Combine that with the fact that two [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content