Iconic Forbes Magazine Poised for Chinese Purchase

Paul Sableman https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki

A firm with ties to the Chinese government stands ready for the accusation of the iconic American magazine, Forbes, for $650 million.

Magnum Opus Acquisition Limited, the company buying Forbes, is listed with the SEC as a Cayman Island company with a Hong Kong address. According to the Global Legal Chronicle, Magnum Opus is a “special purpose” acquisition company that focuses on the global consumer, technology and media sectors.

The merger is said to “enable” Forbes to “further capitalize” on digital transformation. It will facilitate technology use and data-driven insights to create “more deeply engaged audiences” and “high-quality and recurring revenue streams.”

However, The Washington Examiner reported that filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in March 2021 revealed Peng Chun, chairman of the China Investment Corporation, personally signed paperwork providing Magnum with its March 2021 seed money. Two days later, Magnum began the purchase process. The Examiner also noted that Chun was a loyal supporter of the CCP.

In April, Rep. Mike Waltz (FL-6) wrote a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellin questioning the legality of the China-based business with ties to the communist government accruing the major U.S.-based media company. In addition, Waltz broached the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) purchase review.

In May, Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Bill Haggerty (R-TN) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) wrote in an open letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The letter insisted on more oversight of the CCP’s purchases of U.S. assets. In part, the senators wrote: “Forbes is a recognizable American brand with immense propaganda value to the CCP.” They continued, “The CCP’s direction of Forbes’ editorial content and business operations, or its access to Forbes’ financial and personal research, could present a serious national security threat to the United States.”

The merger between Forbes Global Media Holdings Inc. and Magnum Opus Acquisition Limited is set for finalization next month.