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Huffington Post agrees to $315 million buyout from AOL

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By Paul Farhi

Huffington Post, the liberal-leaning online news site that has been one of the Internet’s start-up success stories, said it agreed to a $315 million buyout late Sunday night from AOL Inc., the elder statesman of online access and digital content.

Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington, who made the announcement on her site Sunday night, will become president and editor in chief the Huffington Post Media Group, which will put the news outlet she co-founded under the same ownership as AOL’s collection of sites. Huffington – the former wife of one-time Republican Senate candidate Michael Huffington – has evolved into a well-known pundit and author, and a powerful player in Democratic circles as a result of her venture.

n a stroke, AOL greatly expands its content offerings and reach on the Internet, part of its strategy to move away from selling the dial-up service that gave millions of Americans their first online experiences, but which is now in grave decline.

Huffington Post reaches more than 20 million unique visitors each month, making it one of the most popular news and commentary sites on the Internet. It is based in New York City, as is AOL.

Huffington and Huffington Post chairman Kenneth Lerer co-founded the site in 2005 and presided over its rapid growth. “HuffPo” said it turned a profit in 2010, but as a private company it does not publicly report its sales and earnings.

The companies said Sunday that about $300 million of the sale price will be in cash, with the balance in AOL stock – a spectacular return for Huffington Post, which was founded on a $1 million investment less than six years ago. It is privately owned by its two co-founders, as well as a group of investors. Read more in The Washington Post.


Written by Theophyle

February 7, 2011 at 9:44 am

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