Atlantic Media sells Quartz to Japanese media company

Monday , July 02, 2018 - 10:11 AM

Thomas Heath

(c) 2018, The Washington Post.

Atlantic Media announced Monday that it is selling its Quartz business news platform to Uzabase, a publicly held Japanese business intelligence and media company worth nearly $1 billion.

The deal, which is expected to close within 30 days, will be worth between $75 million and $110 million, depending on how Quartz’s financial performance for the rest of this calendar year, according to the announcement.

The sale of Quartz is the latest divestiture by Atlantic Media chairman and owner David Bradley. Bradley announced a year ago that he had sold a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine to Emerson Collective, which is controlled by Laurene Powell Jobs.

“After selling the majority of The Atlantic to Emerson Collective, I had thought it would be a few years before we launched the search for a Quartz buyer,” Bradley said in a memo to the Quartz staff. He said the sales of The Atlantic magazine and the sale of Quartz “is coming years faster than I had imagined.”

Bradley said Tokyo-based Uzabase approached the Quartz editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney last fall about a content partnership, then the conversation developed one about a purchase.

As part of the deal, Quartz will assume responsibility for the English version of NewsPicks, a subscription business news service and a core business of Uzabase.

Uzabase said it plans to marry Quartz’s editorial and advertising products with Uzabase’s data and paid content to “create a larger, more robust global business brand.”

Uzabase CEO Yusuke Umeda said he has been watching Quartz for five years and that its success in combining “quality journalism with mobile technology” inspired him to launch NewsPicks.

Quartz is an edgy online media outlet specializing in business news. Bradley founded the company in 2012, growing the staff to 215, including 100 journalists reporting worldwide.

The company said more than 20 million people access its digital products each month, including its QZ.com website. Half of its audience is from outside the United States.

Quartz, which recently won its first Gerald Loeb Award, will continue to operate under its brand and from its New York City headquarters, according to the announcement. No layoffs are planned.

“I have loved Quartz,” Bradley said in the memo. “And I have loved my Quartz colleagues.”

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