Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone is selling 49 percent of the iconic music and rock culture magazine to a Singapore start-up, owned by a billionaire’s son to build the legendary brand in Asia and worldwide.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the remaining 51 percent stake in the magazine is owned by parent company Wenner Media.
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It’s the first time Wenner has let outside investor in the 49-year-old biweekly print magazine. The deal reflects the situation of the industry fighting to stay relevant in an online age.
BandLab Technologies, led by 28-year old Meng Ru Kuok, son of billionaire, founder of the world’s largest palm oil company, Wilmar International Ltd. Kuok Khoon Hong. Under the terms of the deal, a fully-owned subsidiary called Rolling Stone international will be set up in Singapore and managed by Kuok.
Gus Wenner, Jann’s 26-year-old son, who is head of digital media, expressed excitement in finding a strategic partner for Rolling Stone, adding: “We see an enormous opportunity to diversify the brand into new markets and new areas of business.”
Kuok, BandLab’s CEO said: “Rolling Stone’s impact on culture over the years has been immeasurable and I’m truly honored to be joining the team on the next phase of its journey. I look forward to working closely with Gus to take the brand bravely into the future to realize its global potential.”
Currently, Rolling Stone publishes 12 international editions in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Russia.