Forbes Would-Be Acquirer Outlines Blockchain Media Strategy

Wednesday 05 May 2021, 9:24 AM AEST - 1 week ago

  • Patrick McConlogues Borderless Services is offering $700M to buy Forbes.
  • McConlogue has a grand vision to reinvent media using crypto wallets, tokens and radio transmitters.
  • But first he has to close a deal and is bidding against a SPAC for the 104-year-old property.

There are at least two competing bids to buy out storied chronicler of capitalism Forbes Media LLC.

Its a competitive race that speaks to the disruption reshaping the current media landscape, as well as an increasingly frothy financial ecosystem where new economic models – from novel cryptocurrencies to less-traditional investment strategies – are making their presence known.

Reuters reported last week that Forbes owners are considering a bid from tech investor Michael Moe, who would merge the media giant with an unnamed special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Also reported was a $700 million offer from Patrick McConlogues Borderless Services Inc., a crypto-focused investment vehicle.

In an interview with CoinDesk, McConlogue outlined new details of his proposal, including the cryptocurrency features he would embed in Forbes, as well as his grander ambitions for a media empire powered by blockchain technology.

The Forbes asset is not our primary target. Its the first stop on our acquisition strategy, McConlogue said in an interview. Media is ripe for change, just like banking is ripe for change.

Cryptocurrencies are the way to reshape both, he said.

(Patrick McConlogue)

McConlogues bid comes as crypto explodes into global prominence. Distributed technologies offer new ways to model trust, build economic units and finance deals; its possible cryptocurrencies could follow everywhere money flows. Though the sector promises much, it often underdelivers in practice.

McConlogue said his offer is fully capitalized, meaning Borderless is in the position to immediately buy out Forbes owners, Integrated Whale Media Investments (which purchased 95% of the company in 2014) and the Forbes family (which owns the remaining 5%).

The deal would be financed with debt and equity arranged by private equity firm Ares Management Corp. McConlogue has a background in ...

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