Days after revealing positive revenue gains in its first quarter of 2019, Meredith Corp. announced a deal to sell Fortune for $150 million cash to businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon, owner of Fortune Media Group Holdings Limited. The deal is expected to close this year.
The news comes just a week after Meredith finalized the sale of Time magazine to tech billionaire Marc Benioff and his wife Lynn Benioff for $190 million in cash.
Jiaravenon, a board member of True Corporation and affiliated with international conglomerate the Charoen Pokphand Group, purchased Fortune as a personal private investment. He intends to grow the brand’s digital capabilities, geographic expansion and editorial team through increased investment.
“Our vision is to establish Fortune as the world’s leading business media brand, with an always-on reach and global relevance:” Jiarovenon stated. He believes “the demand for high-quality business information is growing,” which will lead to profitable growth for both the publication and its events branch.
Alan Murray, Chief Content Officer, Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune and Money
Much like its agreement with the Benioffs as it closed the sale of Time, Meredith Corp will provide Jiaravanon with short-term business continuity services and has also signed a multiyear agreement to assist with corporate sales, consumer marketing, subscription fulfillment, paper purchasing and printing.
Founded in 1930, Fortune has become a multiplatform business that includes a monthly magazine with international editions, a digital news and video platform with an audience of 20 million and a live events series.
The Fortune brand also includes several franchises, like the Fortune 500, 40 Under 40 and Fastest-Growing Companies.
When Meredith closed its own deal to acquire Time Inc. earlier this year, the company stated that several of the publisher’s titles didn’t align with Meredith’s core audience of American women. Those included Time, Sports Illustrated, Money and Fortune. The company was expected to sell each of those properties in 2018.
John Zieser, Meredith’s Chief Development Officer, stated the company would release additional announcements soon regarding deals involving the final two titles, Money and Sports Illustrated.
Cash from the sale of Time and Fortune have been used to pay down debt.