According to the New York Times, Elevation Partners – a private group of media and entertainment industry investors including U2 frontman Bono – has bought a "significant minority stake" in Forbes Media.
Forbes Media, reportedly newly spun off from the holdings of the five children of the late Malcolm S. Forbes, includes Forbes.com and the 89-year-old flagship magazine, as well-known in executive suites for serious business coverage as it is in pop culture for its annual lists ranking the assets of wealthy individuals and companies.
And Bono has been among the many to snag the badge of distinction some in the ranks of the super-wealthy – although not necessarily Bono, who has said he harnesses his celebrity for a cause - are known to covet: his picture on the cover of Forbes.
The Times says the Forbes company and Elevation had been talking to each other for months in what both sides called a "mating ritual" finally concluding Friday. The terms of the deal are not public, but the newspaper says some have estimated it could be a stake of about 40 percent, at a cost of $250 million to $300 million.
The paper emphasizes that no one directly involved in the deal has confirmed those numbers.
The investment group Elevation Partners defines itself as dedicated to helping media and entertainment businesses develop and market great content.
U2 fans were not surprised at the name of the group - Elevation. It is an often-repeated theme in Bono's lyrics – the desire to go higher, in every way – and is also the name of a U2 song.
Elevation was also a favorite theme of legendary publisher Malcolm Forbes, who died in 1990 after decades of making headlines with his love of hot air balloons and grandiose, showy gestures.
In addition to Bono, the other five principal investment partners in Elevation are: Fred Anderson, former executive vice president and chief financial officer of Apple Computer; Marc Bodnick and Roger McNamee, both founders of Silver Lake Partners; Bret Pearlman, a former top executive at the Blackstone Group; and John Riccitiello, former president and chief operating officer of Electronic Arts.
The group's previous investments have included real estate and companies involved in developing video games.