Axel Springer, a German media company, has agreed to buy 88 percent of Business Insider, the business-focused news website, for $343 million, the German media conglomerate announced in a statement Tuesday.
The purchase price amounts to $442 million for 100 per cent of the business, or a cash and debt free valuation of $390 million, Axel Springer said today.
BI currently employs more than 325 people, around half of whom are journalists. In addition to U.S. news sites it has launched local editions or licenses in seven other countries with more editions planned. A German edition is slated for Q4 this year, and will be operated by Axel Springer company finanzen.net.
The addition of Business Insider’s 76 million unique monthly visitors will increase Axel Springer’s worldwide digital audience by two-thirds to approximately 200 million users, making the company one of the world’s six largest digital publishers in terms of reach.
Henry Blodget, Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Editor-in-Chief of Business Insider:
“We have tremendous respect for Axel Springer’s commitment to independent journalism and its global vision for the future. It is a pleasure and privilege to join forces with such a smart, forward-thinking team. We look forward to working together to build a major global news organization for the digital century.”
Post acquisition Axel Springer will own around 97 per cent, with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owning the remaining shares, vis his Bezos Expeditions personal investment company. Early investors in BI include Marc Andreessen and Ken Lerer. The latter will receive a seat on the BI board.
Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer SE said:
With the acquisition of Business Insider, we continue with our strategy to expand Axel Springer’s digital reach and, as previously announced, invest in digital journalism companies in English-speaking regions of the world. Business Insider has set new standards in digital business journalism globally.
(Founder, CEO and editor-in-chief) Henry Blodget’s way of digital storytelling reaches tomorrow’s decision-makers. Combining our forces will allow us to unlock growth potential and expand Business Insider’s portfolio to new verticals, new locations and new digital content.
We look forward to working together with Henry Blodget, (COO) Julie Hansen and the exceptional Business Insider team to continue shaping the future. At the same time, I am thrilled to have our close partner Ken Lerer joining us.