Monday, July 2, 2018

Media: Japan's Uzabase to Buy Quartz for Up to $110 Million (QZ)

From Quartz:
Quartz is being sold to Uzabase, a Japanese business media company
Quartz is being bought by a Tokyo-based media company seeking to expand its global footprint.
Uzabase, founded by two former UBS investment bankers and a technology consultant, will pay between $75 million and $110 million, depending on Quartz’s financial performance for the remainder of 2018, according to Quartz parent Atlantic Media. The deal is expected to close in the next 30 days.

Founding editor-in-chief Kevin J. Delaney and publisher Jay Lauf will be co-CEOs of Quartz. They will report to Yusuke Umeda, one of Uzabase’s founders. The Japanese company is “turning to Quartz to drive its expansion outside of Asia, with a particular eye on subscription offerings,” Delaney and Lauf told employees in a memo today (July 2), adding, “We expect the biggest source of growth in Quartz’s next chapter will come from reader revenue.” No layoffs are planned as part of the acquisition, they said.

The sale represents another step in David G. Bradley’s divestiture of his privately held Atlantic Media properties, which still include the National Journal and Government Executive. In July 2017, he signed an agreement (paywall) with Emerson Collective, founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, to sell a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine.

David Bradley on why he sold to Uzabase
In a separate memo to Quartz staff, Bradley said his decision to sell came years earlier than anticipated, the result of Uzabase reaching out to newsroom leadership last fall. At first, the company wanted to partner with Quartz. In March, a more serious conversation about a potential acquisition ensued. “Yusuke is a pure entrepreneur, an original creator of huge—and global—ambition,” Bradley wrote. “[He] and his colleagues want to retain the Quartz name and our editorial team as the foundation in building what he called, with me, ‘the leading global business news brand in the world.'”

Bradley said he will continue his involvement with Quartz as an advisor and minority shareholder.
Since its launch in 2012, Quartz has expanded to 215 staffers, including 100 journalists who operate around the world, including at its headquarters in New York. On average, the company says, more than 20 million people access Quartz each month through its sites, apps, newsletters, and videos. Its operations also include an in-house bot studio and a commercial strategy division, Quartz Creative.
In March 2017, it was reported that Quartz turned a profit in 2016, earning more than $1 million on over $30 million in revenue, almost all of it from advertising (paywall). Quartz says it is on track to increase revenue by 25%-35% this year....MORE
Also at Quartz:
Quartz begins a new chapter. A letter from our editor in chief and publisher