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Forbes cancels sale deal allegedly linked to Russian oligarch

by Martin Fornusek November 21, 2023 8:46 PM 2 min read
Russian investor and business tycoon Magomed Musaev. (Magomed Musaev/LinkedIn)
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The parent company of Forbes magazine is no longer going forward with a sale to billionaire Austin Russell, linked by the media to Russian tycoon and investor Magomed Musaev, Bloomberg reported on Nov. 21.

The sale had already been paused for weeks after missing a Nov. 1 deadline, the news outlet noted.

"There has been no shortage of investment interest in our company over the years, and we will continue to consider other opportunities that can help accelerate our growth strategy," Forbes Chief Executive Officer Mike Federle said.

Russell, the CEO of Luminar Technologies Inc., announced in May that he intends to acquire an 82% stake in Forbes Global Media Holdings in a deal valued at $800 million.

The Washington Post reported in October that according to obtained audio and video recordings, Kremlin-connected tycoon Musaev claimed he is acquiring Forbes with Russell serving as the "face" of the deal.

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"I just bought global Forbes," Musaev allegedly told one of his associates.

"You understand when you have in your hands the key to the most authoritative global brand, this key will give me access to anyone."

Both Musaev and Russell denied the Russian oligarch's connection to the sale in their comments to the Post.

Musaev is the president and founder of the Global Venture Alliance (GVA) investment fund.

He has previously served in the Moscow city government. Musaev holds influential connections in Russia through his father-in-law, Ramazan Gadzhimuradovich Abdulatipov, the former head of the Republic of Dagestan.

Through his father-in-law, Musaev also reportedly entered the close circle of oligarch Suleiman Kerimov, who is connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chechen dictator Ramzan Kadyrov.

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Editor’s Note: This story is based on an investigation by Trap Aggressor, a project by Ukrainian NGO StateWatch, which advocates for principles of good governance. The investigation’s author, Roman Steblivskyi, is a researcher at StateWatch. This story has been translated from Ukrainian and edited b…

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