With a clean slate: the new owner of Forbes was a businessman from Dagestan :: Technology and media :: RBC

The President of Global Venture Alliance Magomed Musaev bought the Russian version of Forbes magazine at media group ACMG Alexander Fedotov. As the former owner, he promised not to interfere in editorial policy

Magomed Musaev

(Photo: Dmitry Azarov / Kommersant)

“Without conflict”

The Russian Forbes magazine’s new owner — the businessman Magomed Musayev, said on Wednesday, August 30, participants in the transaction. Under its terms, the media group ACMG sold Musayev 100% of JSC “AC Rus Media” — the publisher of Forbes and the magazine “OK!”. Musaev refused to name the amount of the transaction, saying only that it was his own money. As the interest of the buyer “is associated exclusively with Forbes,” the magazine “OK!” he plans to sell in the near future.

The decision to buy Forbes the new owner explained the “three are not connected to each other in circumstances”: a reader’s longstanding dedication to the journal, personal and business relationship with the shareholders and the leadership of the American Forbes Media, acquaintance with the previous owner of the magazine — Alexander Fedotov (owner ACMG).

According to Musayev, the last period of crisis associated with the loss of mutual understanding between the editors and the owner, showed that the project required “the owner without conflict of interest, which will guarantee editorial independence”. As it sees the new owner of Forbes, including can guarantee the creation of a new body — the Board of Directors. It is planned that one-third of the Board will be appointed by the owner of the edition, third edition, and the remaining third of the Board will consist of independent Directors, for each of which the editors and managers must vote unanimously.

Why I bought Forbes


Musayev also announced the return to the editor, who was fired in June from his post as editor-in-chief Nikolai Uskov. The status of editorial Director of Forbes Uskov “will focus on the development agenda”. To perform the duties of editor-in-chief of Forbes from August 30 will be the chief editor of Nikolay Mazurin. Get back to work and Natalia Gandurina — she will take the post of publisher.

The deal partners

The owner of the Forbes media group ACMG was in September 2015, bought it from the German publishing house Axel Springer. To part with the asset, the latter was forced after changes in legislation, from 2016, the foreigners are prohibited from owning more than 20% in the Russian media. Under the deal, ACMG has also received other magazines — OK!, Geo, “Geolenok”, “Gala Biography”, finanz.ru. The transaction amount was not disclosed, but, according to sources RBC, it was approximately $7 million.

The Forbes editorial staff will move to the office in the street Obrucheva

Technology and media

“We will not interfere in the editorial policy of Forbes, but we want to it was a magazine about business and the economy, — said Fedotov in an interview with RBC immediately after the transaction. — In Russia it is a little too politicized. We will try to write about what is interesting to our readers. I am confident that the policy they are interested in to a lesser extent”. Then Fedotov said acquired media assets in their own funds and credit were not involved. But later two sources RBC argued that the borrowed funds could still be involved in the transaction, one of the interlocutors said that the lender — Musayev.

Alexander Fedotov

(Photo: Oleg Yakovlev / RBC)

Musayev not only familiar with the publisher of Forbes Alexander Fedotov, he’s his business partner, follows from the data of SPARK. Entrepreneurs are co-owners of LLC “Gallery on Savvinskaya 23” — to this address in Moscow is the “design gallery” Altagamma. Long before the investment in the media business, in 1990, Fedotov founded the company Art Trading, which later became architectural design Art Trading Contract, furniture Altagamma and Arte Di Vivere. When Musaev became a partner in this line of business Fedotov, at the time of publication could not figure out.

The controversial intervention

Despite the promise Fedotova not to interfere in editorial policy, is in violation of this, it has repeatedly accused the editors of Forbes. The first scandal erupted after the release in the fall of 2016 in the Forbes ranking of the highest paid CEOs of the largest companies of Russia: it presented for the assessment of incomes of managers “Gazprom”, “Rosneft”, Sberbank. Been included in the rating, and the President of VTB Andrey Kostin, but its projected revenues has not been named. Forbes journalists in court testified that the editorial Board had calculated the amount, but it was withdrawn from publication at the last moment by order Fedotov.

“Gloss” the load

Bidders for the Alexander Fedotov Forbes had a few, told RBC sources. Edition, in particular, was interested in the businessman Demyan Kudryavtsev, whose family owns the “statements” and the owner of ESN group Grigory Berezkin. Among the contenders was called and co-founder of the radio station Business FM Dmitry Solopov: buy the edition he planned in partnership with the former owner of the Bank “Ugra” Aleksey Hominem.

However, potential investors were only interested in Forbes. Thus Fedotov himself was willing to sell the business publication only a single pool with other assets. In addition to the magazines that he got from Axel Springer, the structure of the ACMG includes magazines L’officiel, Numero, SNC, etc. But “gloss” potential buyers were not interested. Faced with the problem of the sale “package” ACMG gradually began to abandon their issue: last week it became known about the dissolution of the editions of Geo, “Geolenok”, “Gala Biography”. Two days later, the media group announced the closure of the paper version of the magazine SNC.

Losing money in recent years was the magazine Forbes, the flagship for the ACMG project. By the end of 2017, “as Rus Media” increased its net loss grew to 63.4 million rubles, follows from the data of SPARK. A year earlier this indicator was equal to 17 mln. During the stay in the structure of ACMG significantly reduced and classroom indicators Forbes. So, in September 2017 — February 2018 the average audience of one issue of Forbes magazine, amounted, according to Mediascope, almost 1.1 million people over the age of 12 living in major cities. In March—July 2016 this figure was slightly higher — 1.3 million people. Daily Russian audience of the site Forbes.ru on desktops and laptops in April 2018 has made 55,3 thousand people aged 12 to 64 years. Two years ago, in April 2016, it was almost 152 thousand people in January 2016, when Nikolai Uskov became the chief editor, 159 thousand according to the source RBC, close to the media, is much lower could be the real circulation of the magazine Forbes — instead of the claimed 100 thousand, “the circulation of some editions does not exceed 20-30 thousand”.

Nikolay Uskov

(Photo: Valery sharifulin / TASS)

The innovative investor

“The centre of my vital interests in the last ten years linked to the theme of innovation and venture capital, describes the profile of his business interests he Musayev. — Global Venture Alliance today is almost fifty invested technology companies and more than $100 million under management”. The new owner of Forbes was born in June 1963 in Dagestan, a graduate of Russian economic Academy named after Plekhanov. In 1998 he became first Deputy Director General all-Russian exhibition centre, and in 2004 has headed it. But in 2009, he was removed from this post. As reported to “Kommersant”, the resignation was linked to the desire of the Federal authorities to monitor the project of reconstruction of the center. In 2010, the state office of public Prosecutor has finished check of activity of the old leadership OCE, finding that because of illegal delivery of the exhibition pavilions to rent to commercial structures the budget in 2007-2009 has lost more than 1 billion rubles. But appeals to the investigative bodies with the statement for excitation of criminal cases from the Prosecutor’s office followed.

After the resignation of Magomed Musaev started his work in structure of the Moscow city hall, from left, after the resignation of Yuri Luzhkov. In 2013, Musayev headed the Executive Committee of the Strategic Council under the President of Dagestan, which oversees “the accelerated innovative development of the Republic and attraction of investments in the economy.”

Famous friends

The media has repeatedly called the Musayev brother-in-law of the former head of Dagestan Ramazan abdulatipova. This information confirms the source of RBC. It is the proximity to the head of the Republic, the interlocutor of RBC explains Musaev friendship with many well-known businessmen, including, for example, with the brothers Ziyavudin and Magomed Magomedov. With the latter was associated erupted this summer scandal in Forbes magazine. At the end of July it became known that from the August issue of the magazine has disappeared the article is about the business of the brothers Ziyavudin and Magomed Magomedov. The journalists said publicly about the intervention Fedotov. The editors asked the Prosecutor of Moscow, and then to Roskomnadzor with a request to conduct an investigation of possible violations of the law “On mass media”. Answering the journalists in a Turkish police on Wednesday evening, August 30, is not enrolled, RBC said Nikolay Mazurin.

From Magomedov and Musaev was at least one known joint project. In 2013 in Makhachkala opened American startup incubator Plug & Play, whose main sponsor was Magomedov. Later, Musaev became a partner of the Moscow office Plug & Play. In an interview with Forbes in 2015 Musayev said that in Silicon valley they Magomedov went together.

To find out the opinion Musaev on the withdrawal of the notes on the Magomedov brothers at the time of publication failed.

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