Luminar Tech CEO Russell to acquire majority stake in Forbes

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Forbes magazine is seen on a board in 2017

(Reuters) -Luminar Technologies CEO Austin Russell will buy a majority stake in Forbes Global Media Holdings in a deal that values the business news publisher at nearly $800 million, Russell and Integrated Whale Media Investments (IWM) said in a statement on Friday.

The automotive tech billionaire has agreed to acquire 82% of Forbes, which includes the remaining portion of the company owned by the Forbes family, the joint statement to Reuters 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.

(Reporting by Chavi Mehta, Ananya Mariam Rajesh and Jose JOseph in BengaluruEditing by Vinay Dwivedi & Shri Navaratnam)