Axel Springer, the 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.
“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,” Mathias Döpfner, Axel Springer’s CEO, said in a statement.
Henry Blodget, Business Insider’s founder, CEO and editor in chief, said: “We have tremendous respect for Axel Springer's commitment to independent journalism and its global vision for the future.”
In a tweet, he added:
Thanks, everyone! Very kind. So grateful to our readers and clients and so proud of our team. Axel Springer an amazing company.— Henry Blodget (@hblodget) September 29, 2015
Under the deal, Blodget will continue his role at Business Insider, as will Julie Hansen, the website’s chief operating officer and president.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval. Axel Springer already owns 9 percent of Business Insider, the website that Blodget and others founded in 2007. The statement added:
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.
Berlin-based Axel Springer is one of Europe’s largest digital publishing houses. It owns Bild, the mass-circulation German daily, and other publications. It also has significant stakes in Ozy.com, the online magazine, as well as Mic.com, the news site focused on millennials. In April, it entered a partnership with Politico for the European edition of the political publication.
The acquisition of Business Insider is the latest in a quick series of sales of news and entertainment-related websites by “old” media houses. Last month, NBCUniversal said it was investing $200 million in Vox Media. After the deal, Vox was valued at $1 billion, Re/Code reported. NBCUniversal also said it would invest $200 million in BuzzFeed, valuing that company at $1.5 billion, according to Re/Code.