Reuters can exclusively reveal that Chinese conglomerate HNA Group is in talks to buy a controlling stake in the owner of the publisher of Forbes magazine. Laura Frykberg reports.
It regularly features the fortune of the famous.. Now it's the fortunes of Forbes itself in the spotlight. The media company is being eyed by the Chinese conglomerate, HNA Group, according to sources speaking exclusively to Reuters. HNA wants to buy a controlling stake in it. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CCLA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, JAMES BEVAN, SAYING: "There is an appetite generally by Chinese companies to exhibit or express more soft power and the capacity to get into global media to be able to present a better picture of China to a global audience is I think an important motivation." And it could have a hefty price tag. The deal may cost as much as $400 million. But money is no object for Chinese investors, say some. The sale would be part of a wider trend in the industry. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CCLA INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, JAMES BEVAN, SAYING: "China has very strong money supply growth, but it has a limited amount of investment opportunities at home. All this free cash is clearly swilling out into the global economy. It's moved house prices and property prices, and now it's going to move corporate prices as well." Last year, HNA bought an 80 percent stake in a Beijing media firm as it expands out of its traditional aviation and logistics sectors. It's signalled it will purchase more media assets. Forbes could be the repeat performance.