DES MOINES, Iowa and NEW YORK — Meredith Corporation is selling the FORTUNE media brand and business magazine for $150 million cash to Fortune Media Group Holdings Limited, wholly owned by Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon. The transaction is expected to close later this year.
Mr. Jiaravanon’s family owns Thailand’s Charoen Pokphand Group (www.cpgroupglobal.com), an international conglomerate with businesses in telecom and media; agro-food; retail and distribution; e-commerce and digital; property development; automotive and industrials; finance and investment; and pharmaceutical sectors. Owned by the Chearavanont/Jiaravanon family, the C.P. Group operates public companies such as CP Foods, CP ALL and True Corporation, and multiple private firms.
Mr. Jiaravanon is involved in C.P. Group’s technology, media and telecom businesses. He serves as a Board Member of True Corporation, a leading public company in Asia with more than $10 billion in assets, $4 billion in revenues, and 23,000 employees.
Mr. Jiaravanon will own FORTUNE as a personal private investment independent of C.P. Group’s family businesses. He intends to increase investment in FORTUNE’s digital capabilities, geographic expansion, and editorial talent as part of a strategy to become the premium business content provider worldwide.
“Our vision is to establish FORTUNE as the world’s leading business media brand, with an always-on reach and global relevance,” said Mr. Jiaravanon. “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.”
Founded in 1930 at the outset of the Great Depression, FORTUNE has become synonymous with business success. In recent years, it has evolved from a traditional print publication into an international multiplatform, multimedia business that includes a monthly magazine with multiple international editions; a digital news and video platform that reaches nearly 20 million people each month; and the world’s preeminent live event series for top executives, all overseen by a high quality editorial team.
FORTUNE’s major franchises include the FORTUNE 500; 100 Best Companies to Work For; Most Powerful Women; World’s Most Admired Companies; 40 Under 40; Fastest-Growing Companies; and the Change the World list. Its wide range of annual conferences include FORTUNE Most Powerful Women; FORTUNE Brainstorm Tech; FORTUNE Brainstorm Health, the CEO Initiative; and the FORTUNE Global Forum.
Alan Murray, who will become President and CEO of FORTUNE, said: “I am pleased that we have found an owner for FORTUNE who believes in our mission, values our editorial independence, wants to invest in our journalism, and thinks FORTUNE can be the leading brand providing business insight and information around the world. Watch this space: we will be doing big things in the future.” Murray added that Clifton Leaf will continue as Editor-in-Chief of FORTUNE.
Meredith President and CEO Tom Harty said, “We’re pleased to have found FORTUNE a great home with Chatchaval Jiaravanon. His dynamic leadership will enable the iconic FORTUNE brand to grow. We thank the FORTUNE team for their diligent work and wish them continued success.”
As part of the transaction, Meredith will provide short-term business continuity services and has entered a multi-year agreement with Mr. Jiaravanon to provide services such as corporate sales, consumer marketing, subscription fulfillment, paper purchasing and printing.
Meredith acquired FORTUNE as part of its purchase of Time Inc., which closed on January 31, 2018. Shortly thereafter, Meredith announced it was selling Time Inc.’s news and sports brands – TIME, Sports Illustrated, FORTUNE and MONEY – to focus on brands serving its core audience of American women. Meredith closed on its sale of TIME to Marc and Lynne Benioff for $190 million on October 31, 2018.