For the first time in five decades, Rolling Stone is accepting an outside investor. Bloomberg reports that after 15 months of negotiations, founder Jann Wenner is selling 49% of the magazine to BandLab Technologies, a digital music startup founded by Kuok Meng Ru, the son of Singaporean business magnate Kuok Khoon Hong.
BandLab will reportedly have no involvement with the editorial side of the magazine, instead overseeing a new Rolling Stone International subsidiary focused on developing live events, merchandising, and hospitality. “Our strategic partnership is focused on brand extensions into new areas we haven’t quite fully been in the past, such as merchandising, live events, hospitality — they are areas we have dabbled in but never really seriously gone after,” says Gus Wenner, head of digital operations at Rolling Stone and Jann Wenner’s son. “Meng and his team bring a great deal of understanding, infrastructure, know-how and act in that extraordinarily exciting market of Asia and beyond.”
According to Page Six, the 26-year-old Gus Wenner is set to take over the company from his father just in time for its 50th anniversary next year.