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The acquisition of Forbes “wrecked” because of… Russia

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The deal had raised suspicions because of Russell's ties to Magomed Musaev, a Kremlin-linked tycoon

Η εξαγορà του Forbes «ναυàγ ησε» λoγω… Ρωσiας

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An $800 million proposal to sell Forbes Media Group to a group of investors led by Austin Russell, the 28-year-old founder of Luminar, collapsed after questions were raised about possible Russian or other foreign influence on the acquisition.

The US media group's current owner, Integrated Whale Media, said it was canceling the deal to transfer Forbes to the Russell-led group.

The announcement follows months of controversy over the sale, which has criticism on Capitol Hill and scrutiny by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States for possible foreign interference, according to sources cited by the Washington Post.

In an Aug. 9 letter, Senators Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton called on the Treasury secretary to reconsider the deal, arguing that Russell “is just a person serving the interests of other investors.”

Russell's offer for the Forbes acquisition, which was first announced in May, had caused a stir because he had no background in the media industry and the price was large, surpassing the combined sale price of Time, Fortune and The Washington Post. The proposal had also raised suspicions because of Russell's ties to Magomed Musaev, a Kremlin-linked tycoon. Musaev in 2016 had made an initial investment of $20 million in Russell's then-startup technology company.

In five recordings obtained by the Post, Musaev, who also owns the license to publish the Russian version of Forbes, had claimed to be the buyer of the magazine. Russell had denied any involvement of Musaev or any Russian in the market.

Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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