Updated: Onexim Group Buying Forbes Russia?: Mixed Reports; Forbes Issues Denial

Update: Forbes representatives, responding a day later, deny that Forbes Russia has been sold to Onexim. They said, “Forbes absolutely denies this rumor, and has no knowledge of the source. Forbes Russia is also not for sale to the ONEXIM group.”
Original story: Moscow-based PE firm Onexim Group has bought Forbes Russia — or has it? Russian language reporter, translated into English on Quintura’s blog refer to talks of Onexim acquiring Forbes, but focuses on the Russian properties. In Russia, Forbes is published by Germany’s Axel Springer, which uses visual search site Quintura. Forbes representatives haven’t responded yet to our requests for comment.
The purchase comes as Forbes, along with just about every other magazine company, struggles with the transition to digital and the economic crisis. In the past week, the company has completed the first phase of its online/print restructuring and shuttered one of its auto news sites. Forbes is privately held — the 91-year-old mag sold a roughly 40 percent stake to PE firm Elevation Partners two years ago. It hard to pinpoint if the sale was a result of business pressures stemming from the global financial meltdown. (We’ve also reached out to Elevation for comment.)
As for Onexim, the PE firm has been moving beyond its portfolio of mining, energy and real estate holdings into media lately. It supported the launch of Snob magazine, which Reuters reported earlier this year was aimed at “Russia’s super-rich.”