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Cox Enterprises To Buy Axios For $525m

Cox Enterprises To Buy Axios For $525m
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Cox Enterprises are acquiring Axios, the companies confirmed, intending to expand the digital news site’s coverage to include more cities. The deal values Axios at $525 million. The companies said that Axios Co-founders Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen, and Roy Schwartz will remain on the company’s board and continue to manage its day-to-day operations. In addition, Alex Taylor, the CEO and Chair of Cox Enterprises will join the Axios board. The article is about Cox Enterprises To Buy Axios For $525m.

Cox Enterprises, privately held in and based in Atlanta, had previously invested in Axios in fall 2021. However, the company ramped up talks to buy Axios several months ago, intrigued by the company’s push into local journalism, VandeHei said. Axios focuses heavily on politics and business news. As per its website, it was launched in 2017 and offered local coverage of cities including Austin, Texas, Boston, and Seattle.

“We were looking for two things: a buyer that was authentically committed for the very long term to serious media and someone fine with us being in control for a long time,” Mr. VandeHei said. Axios never hired a banker and only spoke with Cox about a sale rather than soliciting other buyers, said VandeHei, who described the deal as nice and easy, with talks escalating over the past few months. 

Cox owns cable and automotive businesses. It also owns The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Dayton Daily News, and other Ohio newspapers, which the company said will continue to operate independently. It sold most of its media assets in 2019 to private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

VandeHei, Allen, and Schwartz weren’t looking to sell, but they did need more money to expand the company into more local markets. While some current investors weren’t interested in adding more capital, Cox felt confident in the leadership’s ability to monetize local journalism at scale with a lean digital-first approach, said Cox Enterprises Chief Financial Officer Dallas Clemen.

Axios has been profitable for the last three years but is expected to lose money in 2022. As a result, Axios HQ, the company’s software component, will become a separate entity led by Schwartz, president of Axios. “We are excited about entering this new chapter with Cox and the opportunities we can explore with Axios HQ as a separate business,” Mr. Schwartz said.

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