Thai business titan lands Fortune magazine for $150M – Fixie News
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Thai business titan lands Fortune magazine for $150M

Publishing giant Meredith said Friday it finalized the $150 million sale of Fortune magazine to Thai business tycoon Chatchaval Jiaravanon.

Sports Illustrated and Money — two other storied brands that Meredith got in the $2.8 billion Time Inc. acquisition — remain on the block and won’t likely sell by year’s end as Meredith had hoped, sources said.

Jiaravanon only appeared on the scene as a potential suitor in October after Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne, dropped the idea of buying Fortune and instead bought Time for $190 million. That deal was finalized in November.

“The whole staff is jazzed,” said Alan Murray, the Fortune editor who was elevated to president and CEO of the new company, which will now be called the Fortune Media Group. “Chat is a passive investor, but he’s a long-term investor.”

Murray said he expects to add journalists “in the double digits” but would not be more specific on the number.

Jiaravanon is part of the richest family in Thailand and the son of the executive chairman of Thailand’s biggest conglomerate, the Charoen Pokphand Group.

“He definitely wants us to do more,” said Murray added. “We’ll be hiring journalists, we’ll be building our technology and figuring out ways to improve Fortune and make it more of a global brand.”

Meredith said it will use the $340 million raised so far to pay down debt.

It told analysts that by the end of the sell-off, it is hoping to raise $500 million.

Meredith is also selling its majority stake in MySpace owner Viant, which it also picked up in the Time Inc. deal.

Meredith declined to comment on further sales.

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