Merger OPA.U

Forbes, Chronicler of Wealthy and Powerful, Will Scrap Plan to Go Public via SPAC

, New York Times

Forbes, the wealth-obsessed business publication, has decided to call off a deal to go public through a special-purpose acquisition company, also known as a SPAC, amid cooling investor appetite for the once-popular financial instrument, two people with knowledge of the plans said.

The cancellation could be announced as early as this week, one of the people said.

The deal, first announced in August, would have taken the company public at a $630 million valuation through a merger with Magnum Opus Acquisition, a SPAC based in Hong Kong. In February, Forbes said that it agreed to a $200 million investment from Binance, a cryptocurrency exchange, as part of the deal.

Forbes was one of several media companies that had hoped to tap the SPAC market to help fuel growth. But not all went ahead with deals, and some that did have struggled.

Axios earlier reported the prospects for Forbes’ SPAC deal looked bleak.

Shares in Buzzfeed, which went public through a SPAC deal in December, have tumbled more than 50 percent. Vice’s efforts to go public through a SPAC stumbled as investors turned on the market, and the media company instead looked to raise more money from private investors. There is also hand-wringing in the media industry over the state of the advertising market, especially after Snap Inc., the owner of Snapchat, said last week that its revenue and profit would be lower than expected this quarter.

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