The rumours have been quietly circulating for a few weeks now, and late last night German media house Axel Springer confirmed its intentions to purchase political news outlet Politico outright. This deal includes snapping up the remaining 50% share of the company’s joint venture, Politico Europe, as well as publisher Robert Allbritton's tech news website Protocol.
Founded ahead of the 2008 US presidential campaign, Politico delivers political and policy news primarily via its website, but also includes print media, radio, and podcast formats. Engaging over 700 employees across North America, half of whom are editorial staff, Politico generates revenues via business-to-business subscriptions and advertising.
The Politico acquisition also further strengthens Axel Springer’s position within the U.S. media landscape. In 2015, the company acquired the Insider group, parent company of Business Insider for $343 million, and in October of last year, a majority stake in the business newsletter platform Morning Brew for an estimated $75 million.
According to a statement, “Robert Allbritton will continue as publisher of Politico and Protocol," however, Ben Mullin from The Wall Street Journal thinks otherwise. "Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner tells me the company is going to search for a new CEO after the deal closes."
Both parties agreed not to disclose the value of the deal, however, "a number of people familiar with the matter" are pointing to a figure north of $1 billion.