Mr. Murray, who helped lead the process with Meredith's banking advisor, Citigroup, said in September: "It was a learning process…
Mr. Murray, who helped lead the process with Meredith’s banking advisor, Citigroup, said in September: “It was a learning process for me, and these things only take a lot longer than you think they should.”
Mr. Jiaravanon, 56, who will not be involved in the management of the magazine, appeared as a suitor only in the past three weeks, says Murray. Meredith had talked to dozens of serious buyers for the newspaper this year.
The deal was reached Friday evening in Hong Kong, where Jiaravanon celebrated his acquisition at dinner with Mr. Murray.
That a small-known businessman like Jiaravanon would become Fortune’s new owner underlines the wildly moving prospects of America’s best-known newspapers. But that was one of the main reasons for Jiaravanon’s interest.
“He loves the brand,” Murray says. “And he really has an appetite to invest.”
Fortune has not covered Jiaravanon or his family conglomerate, known as C.P. Group, to a large extent. The family company is the largest private company in Thailand, with the interests of department stores, banks, telecommunications companies and other companies. The company’s chairman, Dhanin Chearavanont, often tops the list of Thailand’s richest people.
Mr. Jiaravanon, a researcher at the University of Southern California, is also on the board of True Corporation, a Thai media company with over $ 4 billion in revenue.
His title to Fortune immediately picks Jiaravanon on the world stage, but he did not buy the magazine “For personal glory,” Murray says. “He does not talk to you is proof of that.”