Axel Springer Said to Be in Talks to Acquire Business Insider

  • Deal would value the digital publisher at about $500 million
  • German publisher already had minority stake in the company

German media company Axel Springer SE is in advanced talks to buy Business Insider in a deal that values the digital news site at about $500 million, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

A transaction could be finalized in the coming weeks, said the person, who asked to not be identified because the talks are private. No agreement has been reached and the discussions could end without a deal.

Axel Springer, Europe’s biggest newspaper publisher, has been increasingly investing in English-language media. In January, the Berlin-based company led a group of investors that paid $25 million for a stake in Business Insider. Last year, it invested in Silicon Valley-based Web magazine Ozy, and set up a venture with Washington-based Politico to develop a European edition of the website.

Business Insider, co-founded in 2007 by current Chief Executive Officer Henry Blodget as a Web-only business publication, now has six additional editions outside the U.S., including in the U.K, Australia and Singapore. In July, it introduced a new tech-focused standalone website called Tech Insider. The company had 42.7 million unique U.S. visitors in August, up 54 percent from a year earlier, according to researcher ComScore Inc.

Blodget and a representative from Axel Springer declined to comment.

Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos is also an investor in Business Insider after leading a group of investors who bought a $5 million stake in 2013.

The talks between Axel Springer and Business Insider were first reported by Re/code.

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