Forbes said on Thursday that major cryptocurrency exchange Binance will invest $200 million in the media firm as it prepares to go public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
Binance’s investment would replace half of the $400 million in private placement commitments already disclosed by Forbes and Magnum Opus Acquisition Limited, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume.
Forbes and Magnum Opus stated in a statement that the purchase is scheduled to finalise by the end of March.
Forbes said in August that it would go public via a SPAC in an attempt to build on its digital transition and pursue further chances for growth.
“The transactions with Magnum Opus and Binance are expected to help Forbes maximize its brand and enterprise values,” the companies said. Binance will assist Forbes with its digital asset and “Web3” strategy, according to the company. “Web3” refers to a yet-to-be-realized version of the internet in which blockchain-based “decentralised” apps and cryptocurrencies are extensively utilised.
SPACs are shell businesses that raise money in an IPO and place it in a trust with the intention of merging with a private firm and putting it public.
Binance withdrew a lawsuit against Forbes in February of last year. It sued Forbes and two of its journalists for defamation in 2020, after the magazine published an October report about the exchange’s business structure.
On the closure of the purchase, two top Binance employees, Chief Communications Officer Patrick Hillman and Bill Chin, the head of the company’s venture capital arm, will join Forbes’ board of directors, according to the announcement. “I can confirm Forbes’s editorial independence will remain sacrosanct, and entirely independent from Binance,” Binance spokesperson Simon Matthews told Reuters.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao shared a CNBC piece on the deal with his 5.1 million followers on Thursday. Later, he replied with a thumbs-up emoji to a post that stated, “need to build the proper narrative dismissing the fake news.”