Politico sells to German publishing giant Axel Springer in deal reportedly worth $1 billion

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The corporate headquarters of Axel Springer publishing house in Berlin, Germany.

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German publisher Axel Springer announced Thursday that it plans to acquire digital media site Politico. The companies did not disclose a price for the deal, but early reports value it at about $1 billion.

Spokespeople for Axel Springer and Politico were not immediately available to comment on the valuation.

The acquisition grows the publishing group’s portfolio in the U.S. further, adding to its ownership of Insider and Morning Brew. Axel Springer is the German publishing giant behind major news outlets like Bild and Die Welt in the country. It recently went private and continues to invest in U.S. digital media companies.

Axel Springer and Politico were already in a joint venture partnership since 2014, when Politico Europe launched, according to a press release. That news site has been profitable since 2019, the announcement said.

Axel Springer was reportedly in talks to buy Politico’s rival Axios earlier this summer.

Politico founder and publisher Robert Allbritton will continue in that role for both Politico and sibling tech site Protocol, according to the release. The companies said its editorial and management leadership teams at Protocol and in the U.S. and Europe at Politico would remain and operate the publications independently from Axel Springer’s other U.S. brands.

The companies expect the deal will close in the fourth quarter of this year.

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