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Forbes Media hires Deutsche Bank to explore a sale

Following the sale of The Washington Post, yet another big publishing brand name is considering going on the block.

Forbes Media, which like other magazine publishers struggled during the economic downturn, has been trying to reinvent itself as a digital brand and is talking to potential buyers. The company includes the flagship print magazine, its international editions and ForbesLife, as well as Forbes.com, mobile apps and conferences.

Forbes Media President and CEO Mike Perlis sent a memo to employees Friday, saying that after receiving more than a few "indications of interest," the company had hired Deutsche Bank to "test the waters of a sale."

(Read more: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos buying the Washington Post)

The memo, which was leaked to the media, stressed the company's recent growth and digital strength in an effort to send a message to potential buyers.

Below is part of the letter Perlis sent to his employees:

"So much has been accomplished recently, and we're very much in the spotlight these days. We're seen as innovators with extraordinary business momentum. This year is expected to mark our best financial performance in the last six years, strengthened by revenue growth in digital as well as licensing and conferences. As a result of your tremendous work, we have received more than a few "over the transom" indications of interest to buy Forbes Media. The frequency and serious nature of these overtures have brought us to a decision point. We're organizing a process to test the waters regarding a sale of Forbes Media. We have hired Deutsche Bank to represent us, and we expect interest from numerous suitors.

I'm proud to say that we've accomplished what no other traditional media company appears to have done: established a huge digital audience by efficiently creating quality content at scale, and we're innovating around new business models to maximize that relationship. In the last three years, our unique visitors to Forbes.com have jumped from 12 million to 26 million, according to comscore worldwide. Digital revenues are expected to increase over 25 percent by the end of the year. In print, through September, we continue to be the share of market leader in our competitive set. Our efforts have also focused on diversifying our revenue streams to complement our advertising-based businessesand many of our initiatives have come to fruition this year.

—By CNBC's Julia Boorstin. Follow her on Twitter: @JBoorstin

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.