'Forbes' Reports 40% Revenue Growth, IPO Expected Shortly

Forbes, which is pursuing an IPO expected to happen in the first quarter of this year, generated 2021 revenue of $259 million, a 40% increase from $185 million in revenue the prior year, the company stated in a Q4 and full-year report issued  Feb. 23.

Net income, according to Forbes, was $38 million, compared to $8 million for the fiscal year 2020.

Adjusted EBITDA increased by 86% to $60 million, compared to $33 million in the prior year. This exceeded by 31% the company’s projection of $46 million.

The 2021 top-line performance was driven by higher revenue in Forbes’ media and consumer units, which grew by 43%, to $204 million, CFO Michael York said. “These results demonstrate our traction and ability to execute on our consumer strategy, which is one of our major growth initiatives."

For the fourth quarter, revenue increased by 51% year-over-year to $94 million, driven by the media and consumer businesses. In particular, the consumer business (which comprises a variety of direct-to-consumer initiatives) was up 72% in the fourth quarter year-over-year.



CEO Mike Federle said “Our exceptional fourth quarter and full-year 2021 results are a credit to our OneTeam approach and demonstrates that everyone’s work makes an impact. We are building on our heritage of innovation, and using technology to guide us into the next 100 years.”

Forbes is pursuing a merger with the publicly traded special purpose acquisition company Magnum Opus Acquisition Limited, as part of a plan to enter the public equity market itself before the end of March. Upon the closing of the business combination, the company will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the new symbol “FRBS.” So-called SPAC IPOs have been relatively common in recent years. BuzzFeed, for example, went public in a SPAC offering in December.

Earlier this month, the 105-year-old Forbes obtained a $200 million investment from Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency and blockchain infrastructure providers. In the investment, Binance assumes $200 million in subscription agreements, representing half of $400 million in private-investment-in-public-equity, or PIPE, commitments that Forbes had previously announced. The overall size of the PIPE remains at $400 million.

The merger and IPO are expected to help Forbes capitalize on its digital transformation, using technology and data-driven insights to create more engaged audiences and foster more recurring revenue streams.

Forbes’ and Magnum Opus’ financials are available at the Securities and Exchange Commission’s website.

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