Axel Springer buys digital publisher Business Insider for €348m

29 Sep 2015

Henry Blodget, founder, CEO and editor-in-chief, Business Insider

German publishing giant Axel Springer has acquired Henry Blodget’s web-only business publication Business Insider for a whopping €348m.

Blodget founded Business Insider in 2007 and the company has grown to employ 325 people.

Business Insider, which has 76m unique monthly visitors, will help increase Axel Springer’s worldwide digital audience to 200m, making Axel Springer one of the world’s six largest publishers in terms of reach.

Axel Springer already held a 9pc stake in Business Insider and will now own 97pc of the company, with the remaining shares held by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Acquisition of Business Insider will expand Axel Springer’s digital reach

Axel Springer has been steadily expanding its digital portfolio in recent years, acquiring online culture magazine and stakes in, social video news company NowThis Media, as well as stakes in Airbnb and Politico.

Axel Springer is one of the largest digital publishing houses in Europe, generating annual revenues of around €3bn and employing 14,000 people. The company publishes titles including Die Welt, Bild and the German edition of Rolling Stone.

Business Insider CEO and editor-in-chief Henry Blodget and chief operations officer and president Julie Hansen will continue to lead Business Insider.

“With the acquisition of Business Insider, we continue with our strategy to expand Axel Springer’s digital reach and, as previously announced, invest in digital journalism companies in English-speaking regions of the world,” said Dr Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer.

“Business Insider has set new standards in digital business journalism globally. Henry Blodget’s way of digital storytelling reaches tomorrow’s decision-makers. Combining our forces will allow us to unlock growth potential and expand Business Insider’s portfolio to new verticals, new locations and new digital content.

Considered a pioneer in digital journalism Business Insider is focused on an 18-34-year-old target market. Half of its 325 workers are journalists.

The acquisition of Business Insider will have to be cleared by regulators.

The plan is to introduce a German edition in the fourth quarter.

“We have tremendous respect for Axel Springer’s commitment to independent journalism and its global vision for the future,” Blodget said.

“It is a pleasure and privilege to join forces with such a smart, forward-thinking team. We look forward to working together to build a major global news organisation for the digital century.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years