Crypto exchange giant Binance takes $200 million stake in iconic publisher Forbes

Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency and blockchain infrastructure providers, invests $200 million in business publisher Forbes less than two years after it sued the iconic US-based brand for defamation .

Forbes and Magnum Opus Acquisition, a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, said in a statement on February 10 that Binance had made a $200 million strategic investment.

Forbes and Magnum Opus earlier announced plans to pursue a business combination, expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, whereby Forbes would become a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.

The IPO would allow Forbes to further capitalize on its successful digital transformation, he said, using technology and data-driven insights to create more deeply engaged audiences, as well as recurring revenue streams. and associated high quality.

Binance’s strategic investment will be through Binance’s assumption of subscription agreements representing $200 million of commitments in the previously announced $400 million private equity investment as well as Forbes’ intention to go public via a business combination with Magnum Opus.

Forbes said the deal would “maximize its brand and business values ​​and use its technology stack and proprietary analytics to convert readers into long-term engaged platform customers, including through memberships.” and recurring subscriptions to premium content and highly targeted product offerings.

Mike Federle, CEO of Forbes, said, “Forbes is committed to demystifying the complexities and providing actionable insights into blockchain technologies and all emerging digital assets.

“Thanks to Binance’s investment in Forbes, we now have the experience, network and resources of the world’s leading crypto exchange and one of the world’s most successful blockchain innovators. Forbes, already a resource for interested in the emerging world of digital assets, can become a true leader in the field with their help.”

Changpeng ‘CZ’ Zhao, Founder and CEO of Binance, said, “As web 3 and blockchain technologies advance and the crypto market matures, we know that media is an essential element in building understanding and consumer education. We look forward to bolstering Forbes’ digital initiatives as they evolve into a next-level investment insights platform.”

A Binance spokesperson said editorial independence from Forbes would remain “sacrosanct and entirely independent of Binance” after the deal.

Binance sued Forbes and two of its editors in November 2020 after an article was published claiming that Binance “engineered an elaborate corporate structure designed to intentionally mislead regulators.”

The cryptocurrency exchange called the story “false, misleading and highly defamatory” and claimed it cost the company millions of dollars. The lawsuit was dropped by Binance in February last year.

Forbes, which published its first issue in 1917, is renowned for its list of billionaires, whose voters include Binance CEO and founder Changpeng Zhao, whose fortune is estimated at $1.9 billion by the magazine.

Two senior executives from Binance – communications director Patrick Hillmann and Bill Chin, the head of its venture capital arm – will join Forbes’ board of directors upon closing of the deal.