Axel Springer's $343 million acquisition of Business Insider this morning gives the German publisher 97 percent of the news site and events company. And it is the continuation of the Berlin-based company's rapid-fire investing in stateside digital media.
Since March 2014, Axel Springer has been the biggest investor in OZY.com, a news and culture site that counts Steve Jobs' widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, as an investor. And it's invested in Lerer Hippeau Ventures, the digital media fund of Huffington Post co-founder Ken Lerer and former CEO Eric Hippeau.
The German firm also has stakes in popular news platform Mic.com; social video news company NowThis Media; and Ashton Kutcher's media start-up A Plus. And in April, the company partnered with Politico for a European edition of the D.C.-based politics site, which has its own global ambitions.
Axel Springer is the largest publishing house in Europe. The company was built from the ruble of post-World War II Germany in 1946 by journalist Axel Springer and his father, first with one newspaper serving Northwest Germany. Today, its flagship tabloid Bild is the most-circulated newspaper in Europe with more than 12 million daily readers.
Business Insider, which Henry Blodget began as Silicon Alley Insider in 2007, got a $5 million shot in the arm in 2013 when Amazon founder Jeff Bezos invested in the company. As of today, Bezos owns 3 percent of the publication.
Today's deal now values Business Insider at $442 million. Founder Blodget will remain at the helm, as will COO Julie Hansen.
A German edition of Business Insider has already been announced and will launch in the fourth quarter.