The Daily Mail wrote down a $31 million loss on its investment in Elite Daily, the company announced on Wednesday.
Since acquiring the millennial-focused digital publisher, “audience retention and revenue growth have been disappointing and losses have exceeded expectations,” the Daily Mail’s parent company said in a financial report. “The carrying value of the business’s goodwill and intangible assets in DMGT’s balance sheet has been written down completely, resulting in an impairment charge of £25 million.”
The Daily Mail and General Trust said it purchased Elite Daily for 17.6 million pounds in Jan. 2015, or about $26 million, lower than the price tag of $40 to $50 million reported at the time.
Founded in 2012 by David Arabov, Jonathan Francis and Gerard Adams, Elite Daily exploded to more than 30 million monthly readers in three years, driven almost entirely by Facebook growth. The site billed itself as “the voice of Generation Y.”
The site was acquired by the Daily Mail in 2015 in an attempt to expand the company’s footprint in the U.S. “Now we have 50% of all millennials in the US coming to one of our sites,” bragged Joe Steinberg, the U.S. CEO of The Daily Mail at the time, to Business Insider.
Even as recently as January, Daily Mail and General Trust CFO Stephen Dainth said on an earnings call that he was “pleased” with the site’s performance and that Elite Daily was “proving to be a very important asset.”