The Athletic to Explore New Funding, Possible Sale at $750 Million Valuation (Report)

The Athletic is reportedly still trying to find a buyer

The Athletic
The Athletic

The Athletic has hired LionTree investment bank in its latest effort to find a buyer, per a new report from The Information. The subscription sports news site is looking for funding as it explores a sale at a possible valuation of $750 million.

A representative for The Athletic did not immediately return a request for comment on the report.

This latest effort comes after failed talks with Axios and The New York Times. Axios reported in May that the Times and the Athletic were in talks. That reporting came after The Wall Street Journal reported that the Athletic was in talks with Axios. A subsequent Journal report in May said he Athletic considered the Times a better choice when the potential Axios deal faltered.

“As a general matter of policy, we do not comment on rumors about potential acquisitions or divestitures,” a Times spokesperson told TheWrap at that time while an Athletic rep said something similar: “The Athletic does not comment on rumors or speculation in the market.”

The Athletic boasts over 1.2 million paid subscribers.

Last summer, 8% of the Athletic’s staffers were laid off and all remaining staffers had their salaries temporarily cut as digital media suffered the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“With sports on pause due to the ongoing pandemic, today we made the difficult decision to reduce the size of our staff in select coverage areas,” a representative told TheWrap at the time, adding they were hopeful sports would resume (which they did) but the measure was “necessary to endusre that the company can weather the uncertainty that lies ahead.”