OLD Media Moves

Quartz is being sold to a Japanese company for at least $75 million

July 2, 2018

Posted by Chris Roush

Japanese company Uzabase announced Monday  that it has signed an agreement to acquire Quartz, the business news outlet created and owned by Atlantic Media, as part of an expansion into the United States.

The deal values Quartz between $75 million and $110 million depending on achievement of future financial and operating performance in 2018.

As part of the acquisition, which is expected to close within the next 30 days, Quartz will assume responsibility for the English-language version of NewsPicks on behalf of Uzabase.

NewsPicks is a subscription business news platform and one of Uzabase’s two core businesses.  The other is SPEEDA, a financial business-intelligence service.

“Five years ago, when I was originally thinking about launching a digital media business, I discovered Quartz for the first time,” said NewsPicks CEO Yusuke Umeda in a statement. “I thought that they were truly the first new media company to successfully combine quality journalism with mobile technology, and they played a big role in inspiring me to launch NewsPicks.”

Quartz  co-president and editor-in-chief Kevin J. Delaney and co-president and publisher Jay Lauf will become co-CEOs of Quartz, reporting to Umeda.

Quartz, which was founded in 2012, will retain its name and brand and continue operating from its New York City headquarters and maintain its offices around the world, including London, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Washington and Chicago. It has more than 200 employees, including 100 journalists.

The deal accelerates NewsPicks’ expansion into English-language markets in the U.S. and Europe. Quartz, which this year is on track to grow revenue by 25 percent to 35 percent over last year, will pursue a subscription content model.

NewsPicks is a social platform that enables users to discover, share and comment on business news.

In Japan, the service has 3.3 million registered users and 64,000 paying subscribers at $15 per month. Close to half of NewsPicks revenue is from subscriptions, a figure that has grown 80 percent year over year.

NewsPicks entered the U.S. market in mid-2017 as a joint venture with Dow Jones & Co. Since its product launch seven months ago, growth in the U.S. is already about two times higher than the Japanese historical record.

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