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Japanese firm Uzabase to buy Atlantic Media’s Quartz

Quartz
Quartz

Atlantic Media’s business and tech news outlet, Quartz, is all set to be acquired by the publicly listed Japanese firm Uzabase. The deal, which is valued between $75 million and $110 million, depending on the future financial and operating performance of Quartz in 2018, should be closed within 30 days, a statement from Uzabase said.

In a statement published on its website, Quartz said it won’t be making layoffs and that its work will remain largely unchanged, with the current leadership and office locations remaining intact. Co-president and editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney and co-president and publisher Jay Lauf will now become co-CEOs of Quartz and report to founder and CEO of Uzabase and NewsPick, Yusuke Umeda.

Will Quartz switch to subscriptions

Uzabase, a business intelligence and media firm that is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, runs a subscription-based business news aggregation app called NewsPicks. Following the acquisition, Quartz will be assuming responsibility for the English-language version of NewsPicks in a bid to expand its overseas business, a memo from Uzabase noted.

Further, Quartz is also largely expected to follow suit and focus on generating revenue through a subscription-based model in the coming years. “While high-quality advertising will continue to represent the lion’s share of Quartz’s revenue in the coming years, we expect that the biggest source of growth in Quartz’s next chapter will come from reader revenue,” Quartz’ co-CEOs Delaney and Lauf wrote in a memo to staff.

The sale is in line with Atlantic Media chairman David Bradley’s plan to divest all of its media properties by the time he turns 70. Last year he sold a controlling stake in The Atlantic magazine to Emerson Collective, a philanthropic organisation founded by Laurene Powell Jobs. Bradley is currently 65 years old.

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The acquisition is the latest big media deal by a Japanese buyer, following Nikkei’s 2015 purchase of the Financial Times and Recruit’s purchase of Glassdoor this year.

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