Atlantic Media this month had talks with at least one potential buyer of -- or investor in -- Quartz, the business-news website it formed three years ago, amid a string of acquisitions and investments in online news media.
Financial Times reported the news, saying Atlantic has received other approaches regarding Quartz over the years.
As the FT pointed out, just this week Walt Disney doubled its investment in Vice Media, whose latest big project is Vice News, to $400 million. In September, Germany's Axel Springer bought control of Business Insider. In August, Pearson sold its stake in The Economist to co-shareholders. And in July, Comcast's NBCUniversal put money in BuzzFeed and Vox Media while Japan's Nikkei bought the Financial Times itself from Pearson.
Quartz breaks even and revenue is up 90 percent in the first 11 months of this year, FT said. Most revenue is from online ads viewed by readers directed to the site by social media, which resulted in 15 million unique visitors in November, FT said.
“With Quartz’s tremendous growth trajectory over the last three years, it shouldn’t be surprising that there’s investment interest. Given our ambitions for Quartz, we would be remiss in not evaluating opportunities as they arise," FT quoted an Atlantic spokesman as saying.
Atlantic Media, owner of the 158-year old Atlantic magazine, is considered internet-savvy but has had to cut back in at least one instance this year, FT said. The company shut the print edition of its National Journal title and fired a quarter of the staff as it repositioned the website as a paid website for Washington D.C. political players.