28-year-old tech billionaire to buy 82% stake in Forbes

The publisher will also add a new board to the company consisting of American media, tech, and AI experts

By Reuters

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Photo source: Luminar
Photo source: Luminar

Published: Sat 13 May 2023, 12:11 PM

Last updated: Sat 13 May 2023, 12:14 PM

Austin Russell became the youngest self-made billionaire in 2020 when his self-driving technology company was listed on Nasdaq. He was 25 then and, certainly, Forbes — which lists the world's richest people regularly — has written about him. Now 28, Russell is set to own a huge stake in the business news publisher.

Russell, CEO of Luminar Technologies, will buy a majority stake in Forbes Global Media Holdings in a deal that values the business news publisher at nearly $800 million, according to a statement shared with Reuters on Friday.


The automotive tech billionaire has agreed to acquire 82 per cent of Forbes, which includes the remaining portion of the company owned by the Forbes family, the joint statement from Russell and Integrated Whale Media (IWM) said.

Russell will not be involved in the day-to-day operations of the company, the statement said, adding that capital for the acquisition is independent of his stake in Luminar.


It is not immediately clear how Russell is financing the deal.

As part of the deal, which was first reported by Wall Street Journal, Forbes' Hong Kong-based parent IWM will retain a minority stake in the company and also keep one board seat. Forbes will also add a new board to the company consisting of American media, tech, and AI experts, the statement added.

"It is only fitting that now through this transaction, a true innovator and visionary Austin Russell will be the new steward for the brand", Forbes CEO Mike Federle said in a statement to Reuters.

Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of Forbes Media, will remain involved in the company, the statement said.

Forbes, one of the oldest media outlets in the United States, publishes its eponymous flagship magazine which reaches 5 million readers.

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