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New investment venture by Forum Communications seeks business opportunities

Paul Amundson of Forum Communications Co. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

FARGO — A new venture from Forum Communications Co. is seeking to acquire and invest in companies outside of the traditional media industry.

Gen7 Investments, a reference to past and future generations of the company's family ownership, was launched recently and made its first investment in a marketing calendar software firm last week. Although it's a separate business, Gen7 is a company of Forum Communications and run by company leaders.

"We're looking outside of our core businesses," said Paul Amundson, vice president of investment and strategy at Forum Communications. "The majority of it will be actually purchasing businesses that have been growing and profitable."

The Gen7 investment team includes Bill Marcil Jr., Forum Communications' president and CEO, along with the company's chief financial officer, John Hajostek. Forum Communications owns media outlets across the region.

"Our philosophy in creating Gen7 is to capture the entrepreneurial spirit that is on fire in our communities right now," Marcil said. "In basements, coffee shops, garages and offices ideas are being generated that can change the world, but they need the capital, know-how and legacy that we have."

Amundson said they're looking at all industries and markets for opportunities. He said a lot of companies have their own investment and acquisition groups.

"Through the years, we've done a lot of acquiring. We've acquired commercial print businesses, broadcast businesses, newspaper businesses," Amundson said. "I think the difference in this is it's more diversified in terms of its focus."

Amundson, who has been with the company for more than three decades, has been introducing Gen7 to brokers and other contacts. The venture's website, at www.gen7investments.com, said it's focused on established businesses from across the country with three years of "solid revenue growth and healthy margins."

"There's a lot of fantastic business opportunities out there," Amundson said.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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