Chinese Investment Firms, Germany's Axel Springer Circling Forbes (Report)

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Forbes Media Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Steve Forbes

The Forbes family had announced last year that it was putting its media company, including its namesake magazine, up for sale.

German publishing giant Axel Springer and Chinese investment firms Fosun International and Whale Capital Group are among the companies circling Forbes Media, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The Forbes family, which controls the company known for its namesake magazine and annual rankings of the world's richest people, put Forbes Media up for sale in November. The family controls Forbes together with private equity firm Elevation Partners, which holds a 45 percent stake.

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Other companies reportedly eyeing Forbes are Spice Global and Oxley Group, both based in Singapore, and an investment group led by Jack Laschever, the president of Forbes conferences.

A spokeswoman for Forbes declined to comment as did Axel Springer in Germany. Forbes would be a nice fit for the Springer group, which owns a portfolio of newspapers and magazines, including Europe's number one tabloid, Bild, in Germany.

Fosun recently agreed to acquire a 6.4 percent stake in Chinese film producer and distributor Bona Film Group.

According to media reports, the Forbes family is looking for a price tag of $400 million-$500 million in the sales process.