Global publishing giant Axel Springer has agreed to purchase 88% of US-based Business Insider for $343 million.
Springer, a leading digital publisher in Europe, announced a binding agreement to purchase approximately 88 percent of the shares in New York City-based Business Insider, the leading digital offering for business news in the U.S.
Business Insider is fueled by a team of more than 325 workers who generate more than 76 million unique monthly visitors.
The acquisition will increase Axel Springer’s 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.
The purchase price based on 100 percent of Business Insider amounts to USD $442 million (currently approximately EUR $395 million) on the basis of a cash and debt free valuation of USD $390 million (currently approximately EUR $348 million). The valuation corresponds to an amount of USD $343 million (currently approximately EUR $306 million) for the 88% of the shares that Axel Springer is acquiring.
Axel Springer had already invested in the company, owning nine percent of the publication before the acquisition. After this purchase, Axel Springer will hold a stake of approximately 97 percent. Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment company of Jeff Bezos, will hold the remaining shares.
Henry Blodget, Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Editor-in-Chief, and Julie Hansen, Chief Operating Officer and President, will continue to lead Business Insider in their respective roles. They will also remain significantly invested in Business Insider through an extensive, long-term equity incentive. Kenneth Lerer, Managing Partner at leading early-stage technology venture capital firm Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Co-Founder of Huffington Post and Chairman of Buzzfeed, will receive a seat on the Board of Business Insider.
In a note to investors 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.”
He added, “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, 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.”
Henry Blodget, Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Editor-in-Chief of Business Insider said, “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.”
Axel Springer will finance this acquisition using existing credit lines.