Axel Springer buys Business Insider

Last week, in a move that stunned industry observers, German media giant Axel Springer shelled out $343 million to buy a controlling stake in American media company Business Insider. The deal values Business Insider at $442 million. Previously owning only 9% of the company, Axel Springer will own 88% of the online news website. According to analysts, the transaction sets a new record for digital publisher sales, topping AOL’s $315 million purchase of Huffington Post in 2011. More significantly, the price tag is nine times Business Insider’s projected 2015 revenue. So what makes Business Insider so valuable? Axel Springer has been hunting for an acquisition. After failing to acquire the Financial Times in July and Forbes in 2014, the company finally got its hands on a well-known English-language news website. With a viewership of around 76 million unique monthly visitors, Business Insider will increase Axel Springer’s global audience by two-thirds to about 200 million users, allowing the company to branch out to the English-speaking world. This deal comes on the heels of NBCUniversal’s $200 million investment into both Vox Media and BuzzFeed.
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