Axios to promote itself to Cox Enterprises for $525 million

Jim VandeHei, Co-Founder and CEO of Axios speaks on the 2022 Milken Institute World Convention in Beverly Hills, California, Might 3, 2022.

Mike Blake | Reuters

Axios is being acquired by Cox Enterprises, the businesses stated Monday, with plans to broaden the digital information web site’s protection into extra cities.

The deal values ​​Axios at $525 million, in line with individuals conversant in the matter, who requested to not be named as a result of monetary phrases of the deal weren’t disclosed. Axios co-founders Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz will stay on the corporate’s board and proceed to handle its day-to-day operations, the businesses stated in a launch. Cox Enterprises Chairman and CEO Alex Taylor will be part of the Axios board.

Cox, who’s privately held in and based mostly in Atlanta, had beforehand invested in Axios in fall 2021. The corporate ramped up talks to purchase Axios a number of months in the past, intrigued by the corporate’s push into native journalism, VandeHei stated in an interview. Axios, which focuses closely on politics and enterprise information, launched in 2017 and gives native protection of cities together with Austin, Boston and Seattle, in line with its web site.

“We had been on the lookout for two issues: a purchaser that was authentically dedicated for the very long run to critical media, and somebody who was effective with us being in management for a very long time,” VandeHei stated. “That is not as a result of we’re conceited however as a result of we have now a transparent thoughts about what journalism enterprise seems like.”

Axios by no means employed a banker and solely spoke with Cox a couple of sale, fairly than soliciting different consumers, stated VandeHei, who described the deal as “good and straightforward,” with talks escalating over the previous few months. Axios had beforehand held talks to promote to Axel Springer and to merge with The Athletic, which The New York Instances purchased earlier this yr.

That is the second time VandeHei has based a media firm that bought for greater than $500 million. He co-founded Politico, which bought for $1 billion to Axel Springer final yr after VandeHei had departed for Axios. Allen was Politico’s first rent and Schwartz was Politico’s former chief income officer.

Cox owns cable and automotive companies. It additionally owns The Atlanta Journal Structure, the Dayton Day by day Information and different Ohio newspapers, which the corporate stated will proceed to function independently. It bought management over the overwhelming majority of its media property in 2019 to personal fairness agency Apollo World Administration.

Axios HQ, the corporate’s software program element, will grow to be a separate entity led by Schwartz, president of Axios.

“We’re enthusiastic about coming into this new chapter with Cox and the alternatives we will discover with Axios HQ as a separate enterprise,” Schwartz stated.

Disclosure: CNBC mother or father firm NBCUniversal invested in Axios.

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