New York news portal Quartz is being sold to a Japanese media company in a deal worth up to $110 million, as the latter seeks to expand its international footprint.
Uzabase, a Tokyo-based firm founded by two UBS investment bankers and a consultant, will buy Quartz, which specializes in politics, economics and global development, from Atlantic Media properties – which last year agreed to sell its majority stake in flagship publication The Atlantic magazine.
Uzabase had originally asked to partner with Quartz. In March it opened talks about an acquisition. As part of the deal announced today, Quartz will assume responsibility for the English-language version of NewsPicks, a consumer business news app that comprises one of Uzabase’s core platforms. Its own branded output will not be affected by the deal.
“Uzabase is the perfect partner to create a truly global business media company spanning from Tokyo to New York,” wrote Quartz co-presidents Kevin J Delaney and Jay Lauf. “There is a striking overlap in the official values of Uzabase and Quartz, which include the importance of boldness and creativity, genuinely putting users first, being globally minded, and doing everything with a spirit of generosity.”
Delaney and Lauf outlined Quartz’ recent successes in their post, including a 25-35% annual increase in advertising sales, record staff numbers and plans to launch a new video show via Facebook. NewsPicks, which has a registered user base of 3.3m, will aim to benefit from Quartz’ rapid success drawing readers from Europe and the US.
Uzabase, which was founded amid the global financial crisis in 2008, aims to be “the Google of the business community.” It went public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2016 and has a market cap of around $870m.
In addition to NewsPick Uzabase runs SPEEDA, an “information platform with comprehensive corporate and industry analyses.” The company already has offices all over Asia – in Japan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and Shanghai – and will support Quartz from its expanding New York City location.