Germany’s Axel Springer continues U.S. spending spree, drops $242 million on eMarketer

The corporate headquarters of Axel Springer Verlag publishing house, which includes Germany’s biggest tabloid newspaper, Bild Zeitung, on January 6, 2011, in Berlin.
Image: Getty images/sean Gallup

Germany’s Axel Springer has acquired control of digital media analytics firm eMarketer for $242 million, adding another piece to its growing collection of U.S. assets.

eMarketer, founded in 1996, has become one of the most-referenced analytics firms, tracking a variety of digital businesses, including media. The company claims more than 75,000 subscribers to its subscription product.

Axel Springer now controls 93% of the company.

“The acquisition of eMarketer follows our strategy of expanding our U.S. activities and strengthening our paid models,” saidMathias Dpfner, CEO of Axel Springer, in a press release.

Axel Springer has been consistently investing in and acquiring both subscription and free media businesses over the past few years. In September 2015, Axel Springer bought a controlling stake in Business Insider, valuing the company at $442 million and raising eyebrows in the process.

In addition to eMarketer and Business Insider, Axel Springer has invested in Mic, NowThis Media, Thrillist, Ozy, and virtual reality company Jaunt.

Axel Springer had also been considering an acquisition of the Financial Times, which was eventually purchased by Japanese media conglomerate Nikkei.

Axel Executive Vice President Christoph Keese told Mashableshortly after the purchase of Business Insider that the company had been searching far and wide for new companies to invest in.

“We have looked into almost every interesting prospect on the U.S. market that has been talked about for the past 18 or 24 months,” he said. “We decided not to go with some and we decided to go with others.”

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