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Photo: Getty Images

Meredith Corp. on Friday agreed to sell Fortune Magazine to Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon for $150 million.

Why it matters: Fortune is one of several magazines that Meredith has been trying to unload since buying Time Inc. earlier this year, but two earlier sets of negotiations fell through.

  • One of them was with Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, who ultimately bought Time magazine.
  • Another was with a Wall Street CEO, acting in an individual capacity, whose board was worried about possible conflicts of interest.

Alan Murray, the chief content officer of Time Inc. who will remain with Fortune as CEO, tells Axios from Hong Kong that the new deal came about quickly:

"A mutual acquaintance introduced me to [Jiaravanon] just about a month ago, and the actual deal was put together in just 21 days. He's part of the largest conglomerate in Thailand, but this is an investment he's making on his own because he thinks Fortune can be turned into a big, global business news powerhouse."
— Alan Murray

Thought bubble: This was a very high price to pay, particularly given that a source says Fortune generated around $10 million in 2017 EBITDA, and there are obviously better ways to make money than by purchasing a legacy media business.

  • But Fortune is one of perhaps only two business brands with high name recognition in both the U.S. and Asia: Fortune publishes its own China edition, and regularly hosts conferences there, so it makes sense for a non-media tycoon who wants a mantle-piece acquisition without needing to first learn the entire business.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Biden reviews U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official told Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Trump supporter found with pipe bombs accused of plot to attack Democrats

Five improvised explosive devices that the FBI says "were fully operational and could cause great bodily harm or injury if handled improperly." Photo: FBI/Justice Department

The FBI believes California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and the Bay Area headquarters of Twitter and Facebook were targets of a man facing federal explosives charges, according to a criminal complaint.

Driving the news: Prosecutors charged Ian Benjamin Rogers after finding weapons including five pipe bombs, 49 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition following a Jan. 15 search of his Napa County home and auto repair business. His alleged goal was to ensure former President Trump remained in office.

7 hours ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."

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