As the publishing world sees new mergers, one more is in the horizon. However, this acquisition is a case of opposites attract rather than like meets like. Cox Enterprises Inc., a traditional publishing company is acquiring Axios, a digital media site, according to both the companies. They did not disclose the value of the deal but people familiar with the matter said that Axios was valued at $525 million.
Early this year, the New York Times acquired The Athletic for a reported $550 million, in January. Digital publisher BuzzFeed Inc., known for its listicles acquired Complex Networks, after it launched its public offering in December 2021. Vox Media also acquired Group Nine Media Inc., in the last month of the same year.
Earlier in October, IAC/Interactive Corp acquired Meredith Corp and still earlier Axel Springer purchased POLITICO, the original media site from which Axios journalists branched out, for over $1 billion. Now, it is the turn on a traditional media publisher Cox Enterprises Inc., to acquire a popular digital media site, Axios, for just over half of POLITICO’s value.
In 2017, journalists who were part of POLITICO left to form their own digital media site. It was launched by the former POLITICO trio of Jim VandeHei, Roy Schwartz and Mike Allen. They called it Axios and gave it a motto, “smart brevity” as articles on the site consist of news in bullet point style.
Cox Enterprises Inc. was founded in 1898 by James M. Cox, governor pf Ohio. It has remained a family-owned business. It is involved in different and diverse industries such as media, communications and automotive.
Earlier in 2021, Cox Enterprises was a big investor in Axios, although the sum remained undisclosed. Cox wanted to expand the reach of Axios across the nation and a decision was reportedly made that an acquisition of Axios by Cox would best serve the purpose of expanding the digital site. Axios said that Cox would invest $25 million, as part of the acquisition deal.
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