German Publisher Axel Springer Looks to Acquire Digital Media Site Politico

UTC by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
German Publisher Axel Springer Looks to Acquire Digital Media Site Politico
Photo: Depositphotos

While the details of the deal haven’t been disclosed, people familiar with the matter said that the acquisitions took place for a record $1 billion.

On Thursday, August 26, German publishing group Axel Springer announced the acquisition of the popular digital media site Politico. This transaction will include getting another 50% share in joint venture POLITICO Europe.

In the official press release, Axel Springer mentioned that Politico will help to strengthen its existing portfolio. Furthermore, it will help in offering deep insights, perspective, and analysis into America’s politics and policies.

This will further help Axel Springer expand its footprint in US markets. Politico’s sibling publication Protocol will also be part of the acquisition. While neither of the two players disclosed the terms of the deal, a source familiar with the matter told CNBC that the acquisition will happen for $1 billion.

Over the last 15 years since its inception, Politico has cemented its market position as the most influential news source. Today it has a team of 500 journalists setting up the agenda for the most urgent issues. Besides, Politico has a strong revenue stream through advertisements and business-to-business subscriptions. Over the years, the media house has managed to produce steady growth along with healthy profits. Speaking of the development, Mathias Döpfner, CEO Axel Springer, commented:

“POLITICO’s outstanding team has disrupted digital political journalism and set new standards. A true North Star. It will be a privilege and a special responsibility to help shape the future of this outstanding media company. Objective quality journalism is more important than ever, and we mutually believe in the necessity of editorial independence and nonpartisan reporting. This is crucial for our future success and accelerated growth.” 

Politico and Axel Springer: the Merger of the Giants

Since 2014, Axel Springer has been in a joint partnership with Politico in the US Axel Springer has emerged as an indispensable source of information in the European Union.

There won’t be many changes with respect to the executive roles. The entire management team and editorial teams across US and Europe will remain the same. Robert Allbritton will continue as publisher of POLITICO and Protocol. Speaking of the development Allbritton said:

My 15-year adventure with POLITICO has been the ride of a lifetime. I reach this milestone with a sense of satisfaction that I hope is shared by every POLITICO. Together we have built what is without a doubt the most impressive and most enduring of the many experiments in new publications over the past generation”.

Earlier this year, there were rumors in the town that Axel Springer will be buying Politico’s rival Axios. However, the recent deal with Politico suggests that the deal with Axios will no longer come to fruition.

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