Germany’s Axel Springer Buys 88 Percent of Business Insider for $343 Million

Media giant in Germany already owned 9 percent of digital news site; deal bumps ownership up to 97 percent

Germany media giant Axel Springer has bought an 88 percent stake in Business Insider for $343 million.

Axel Springer already owned 9 percent of the digital news site run by Henry Blodget, so the deal bumps its ownership stake up to 97 percent. The deal values BI at $390 million.

The remaining shares of BI will fall to Bezos Expeditions, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ personal investment company. Adding BI, which has 76 million monthly unique visitors, will bump Axel Springer’s reach to 200 million users, making the German company the world’s sixth-biggest digital publisher, according to the company.

“This acquisition is a vital part of Axel Springer’s strategy to broaden its global reach, diversify its English-language offerings and expand its commitment to innovative digital journalism,” an Axel Springer spokesperson said.

“With the acquisition of Business Insider, we continue with our strategy to expand Axel Springer’s digital reach and, as previously announced, invest in digital journalism companies in English-speaking regions of the world,” Mathias Dopfner, CEO of Axel Springer, said. “Business Insider has set new standards in digital business journalism globally.”

“Combining our forces will allow us to unlock growth potential and expand Business Insider’s portfolio to new verticals, new locations and new digital content,” he concluded.

Business Insider was founded in 2009 by Kevin Ryan, a former digital advertising executive, and included Blodget’s Silicon Alley Insider, which was launched in 2007. Blodget has been the editor and lead executive at Business Insider.

The site has made huge strides in traffic growth in recent years and first reported a profit at the end of 2010. In June 2012 it was reported to have 5.4 million unique visitors.