As part of the sale, Elevation Partners is selling its entire stake. According to the Wall St. Journal, Elevation Partners, which had invested $264 million in 2006, "would recoup substantially all of its investment." Which is to say: Elevation did not make money on owning a portion of Forbes.
Additionally, "The Forbes family will take some cash out as well, although the precise amount isn't known." Which means the Forbes family has limited its potential liabilities without making much money on the deal.
Meanwhile, here are a few key facts about the business of Forbes from the sale include:
- Forbes's print circulation increased in 2014 to 6.1 million, a record for the magazine and much higher than competitor Fortune (at 3.6 million, down from 3.8 million a year earlier). However, Forbes offered heavily discounted subscription fees that shored up its print circulation.
- Print advertising has continued to drop, declining 11% to 650 pages compared with 2013. (Fortune's ad sales declined 4.7% to 665 pages over the same period.
- Traffic to Forbes's websites increased 17% to 27.7 million unique desktop and mobile visitors last month in the U.S., which makes Forbes the third-largest business and financial news provider online behind Yahoo and Dow Jones.
In my next blog post, I'll address the editorial implications of the sale of Forbes.