Fortune magazine sold to Thai businessman
By Hadas Gold, CNN Business
Fortune has a new owner.
Meredith Corporation, which bought Time Inc. last year in a deal completed this January, announced Friday that it has agreed to sell Fortune to Chatchaval Jiaravanon, a Thai businessman. The purchase price is $150 million in cash, Meredith said.
This is the second sale of one of Time Inc.'s flagship properties this fall. Meredith previously sold Time magazine to Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and his wife Lynne.
Meredith said Jiaravanon will own Fortune as a "personal private investment" independent of his businesses, joining the ranks of other billionaires who have bought media properties like Benioff and Amazon's Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post.
"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."
Fortune President Alan Murray will now also become its CEO and Clifton Leaf will continue as Fortune editor-in-chief.
Meredith has been in the process of selling off some of the more storied Time Inc. brands and is still looking to sell Money and Sports Illustrated.
It's the first time Fortune will be owned by a foreign entity since its founding in 1929 by Time co-founder Henry Luce. In the wake of the Great Depression, the magazine targeted the wealthy and influential. In more recent years it became best known for its Fortune 500 list of the largest corporations in both the United States and around the world.
Like many major media brands, Fortune has faced financial difficulties recently. Though it once published on a bi-weekly basis, Fortune cut down its print frequency to monthly and saw a drop in paid circulation and traffic to its website, according to the Wall Street Journal.