Forbes argues it should be valued as an online business

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Forbes Media is trying to convince potential buyers that it should be valued as an online business, reports William Launder of The Wall Street Journal.

Launder writes, “People familiar with Forbes’ financial performance say that could prove a hard sell for a company that still has firm roots in a declining print advertising market.

“Forbes Media, publisher of Forbes magazine and Forbes.com, generated slightly less than $20 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, last year, people familiar with the company’s financial performance said. Forbes doesn’t disclose details of its financial performance; a spokeswoman says it is profitable and on track in 2013 for its best financial performance in six years.

“Given prevailing valuations for print and digital businesses such as those owned by Forbes, such earnings would put an about $200 million price tag on the company, one media banker said. That roughly is where several suitors, including traditional media companies, pitched first round offers that were reviewed this week, said a person familiar with the situation.”

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