The 100-year-old Forbes brand is now majority owned by a 28-year-old automotive technology CEO.
Austin Russell, founder of Luminar Technologies, told the Wall Street Journal he is buying a majority stake in Forbes Global Media Holdings. The deal gives Russell an 82% stake in Forbes, which includes the remaining portion of the company owned by its namesake family, and values the media outlets at nearly $800 million.
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Luminar Technologies makes sensors and software used for safety and autonomous-driving features. The Forbes acquisition has parallels to the fictional TV show successionwherein a young tech mogul is negotiating to take over an older media brand, Waystar Royco.
The portion of Forbes not controlled by Russell will be stakes held by Hong Kong-based Integrated Whale Media Investments. Russell said he won’t be involved in Forbes news coverage or its day-to-day operations. Instead, he plans to focus on continuing its growth and emphasizing philanthropy within the business.
“Forbes is something I have always looked up to as a brand and as a media empire,” said Russell, who was once recognized by Forbes for its “30 Under 30” feature for being a young self-made billionaire.
The Forbes media empire has not been controlled by the Forbes family since 2014, when it sold a majority stake to Integrated Whale Media after a deal to go public fell through.
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