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Less than six years after launching its news site, Axios has reached a purchase agreement with Cox Enterprises worth about $525 million, the two companies announced Monday.
The deal promises to merge two very different companies. Axios, the Arlington, Virginia-based startup, is famous for its condensed and sharp stories. Cox is a family-owned conglomerate headquartered in Atlanta that owns Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book and The Atlanta Journal-Constitutionas well as major broadband and other companies.
Executives say local news will be their priority
The leaders of the two companies say they are united by a common goal: to energize local journalism, at a time when the Internet is ravaging news organizations across the United States.
“We have found our soul mate to create a large, trusted and consequential media company that can outlast us all,” Axios CEO and co-founder Jim VandeHei said in a statement. posted by cox. “Our shared ambitions must be clear: to deliver clinical, nonpartisan, and trusted journalism to as many cities and topics as quickly as possible.”
“Local watchdog journalism is so important to the health of any community, and no one is more focused on building it nationwide than Axios,” said Cox President and CEO Alex Taylor. , in a separate announcement. posted by Axios.
The sale comes a year after rumors of a different takeover
Axios – the Greek name means “worthy” – was founded by VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz after the trio left the Politico site. The website was the subject of spring 2021 takeover rumors, but its alleged suitor, German media giant Axel Springer, bought Politico instead.
Cox Enterprises had previously invested in Axios, which says the company was a key investor in the fundraising rounds that raised $55 million. The site noted on Monday that Axios has plenty of money, “because it has always been profitable.”
The sale could be a boon for Axios workers: the site has previously stated that “EVERY employee owns” the company.
Axios price is more than five times the $100 million in turnover it was would have planned achieve this year.
The acquisition comes as Axios launches three local newsletters this month, in San Francisco, Houston and Miami. The company said in july that its Axios Local newsletters had “surpassed one million subscribers in 24 markets”.
The company’s newsletters have it was said that he realized more than 50% of its turnover in recent years.
Axios founders will remain on its board
Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will share seats on Axios’ seven-person board of directors, with Cox getting four spots and VandeHei, Allen and Schwartz representing the other three, according to Axios.
“It’s great for Axios, for our shareholders and American journalism,” VandeHei said.
Axios also reports that the deal calls for Cox to invest $25 million to bolster Axios’ media operations. The purchase does not include Axios HQ, a software company that will become its own company, working with corporate communication services.