Nonpublic documents that Fortune magazine obtained reveal that Forbes Media violated covenants on a revolving credit line that it took out in 2006. The loan, which was part of a series of transactions that allowed the Forbes family to cash out more than $100 million from the company, is due next July. Some lenders have been selling pieces of it at a discount from face value. Katie Benner writes:
The company went into technical default on some $90 million worth of revolving credit. The family and the minority owner, Elevation Partners, began an emergency plan to restructure the business and get back in the good graces of its lenders.
Forbes Media says its renewed profitability means that it is out of the woods … and it says the company is confident that it will be able to refinance its revolving line of credit when it comes due on July 6, 2012. Forbes Media said in a statement: “It is not up to the banks whether to refinance. It is up to Forbes. [We] have numerous financing options as we go forward.”
In 2006, Steve Forbes told the New York Times that selling over 40 percent of Forbes Media to Elevation Partners was a way to expand the empire, and “I can tell you we are making major investments.”
> What Steve Forbes is telling his staff about the Fortune story