Axios company announced on Monday, that it is being acquired by Cox Enterprises to expand the digital news site’s coverage to include more cities.
According to information shared by people familiar with the matter, the deal is valued at Axios at $525 million. The company shared the information in a release 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.
Cox previously invested in Axios in the fall of 2021. The company intensified talks to buy Axios several months ago, fueled by the company’s push in local journalism, Vandehei said in an interview. Axios, which focuses heavily on politics and business news, launched in 2017 and provides local coverage of cities including Austin, Texas, Boston, and Seattle, according to its website.
“We were looking for two things: a buyer who was authentically committed to serious media for a very long time, and someone who was okay with us who was in control for a long time,” Vandehei said. “It’s not because we’re arrogant, but because we have a clear mind of what a good journalism business looks like.”
Axios never hired a banker and only talked about the sale with Cox, rather than soliciting other buyers, said Vandehei, who described the deal as “nice and easy” to negotiate with over the past few months. . Axios had previously been in talks to sell Axel Springer and merge with The Athletic, which The New York Times bought earlier this year.
This is the second time Vandehei has founded a media company that has sold for over $500 million. He co-founded Politico, which was sold to Axel Springer last year for $1 billion after leaving for Axis. Allen was Politico’s first employee and Schwartz was Politico’s former chief revenue officer.
Cox owns the cable and automotive businesses. It also owns the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dayton Daily News, and other Ohio newspapers, which the company said will continue to operate independently. It sold control of the vast majority of its media assets to private equity firm Apollo Global Management in 2019.