Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, plans to take a stake in century-old publisher Forbes for $200 million.
CNBC, citing people familiar with the matter, said the funding helped Forbes merge with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) to go public in the first quarter. Binance accounted for half of the $400 million that Forbes announced in August last year from institutional investors, making Binance the top two Forbes shareholders and two of nine board seats.
Forbes will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “FRBS.” This move shows that the cryptocurrency industry is creating many new billionaires and has an increasing impact on the real world. It is also the first major investment of the cryptocurrency industry in traditional American media.
Forbes was founded in 1917, the first issue was on September 15, 1917, and has a history of 104 years; In 2014, Forbes sold 95% of its shares to the Hong Kong investment group “Beijing Whale Media Investment” for about US$475 million. “Integrated Whale Media Investments”, is composed of several Asian investors including Xie Weiqi, the co-founder of ASUS Computer, and Ren Dezhang, the former chairman of Fenglin Group.
According to Bloomberg, Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao was worth $96 billion in January, making him the richest man in the cryptocurrency industry. This figure is only a conservative estimate and does not include cryptocurrency holdings.