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German publisher Axel Springer acquires Politico

German publishing giant Axel Springer has acquired Politico, according to a news release out Thursday.

Why it matters: The deal is valued at about $1 billion, per CNN, making it one of the most expensive media merger deals of late. Axel Springer also acquired the remaining 50% of the two companies' joint venture, Politico Europe, and the tech news website Protocol from publisher Robert Allbritton.


What they're saying: “POLITICO’s outstanding team has disrupted digital political journalism and set new standards. A true North Star. It will be a privilege and a special responsibility to help shape the future of this outstanding media company," Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner stated in the release.

Our thought bubble, from Axios' Dan Primack: Axel Springer, backed by private equity giant KKR, will be the first outside owner for Politico which, unlike many of its VC-backed peers, has always been owned and controlled by billionaire Robert Allbritton. The announcement also comes on the same morning as Forbes agreed to be acquired by a SPAC.

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