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AT&T INC.

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Axel Springer in Talks to Buy Axios

05/21/2021 | 11:57am EDT

By Benjamin Mullin

German publishing conglomerate Axel Springer SE is in talks to purchase digital-news outlet Axios, according to people familiar with the matter, a deal that would add to the company's U.S. holdings.

Axios is seeking between $400 million and $450 million in a potential sale, according to a person familiar with a presentation to the company's investors. There is no guarantee that Axios would receive that valuation in any eventual deal. Deal talks aren't final and could still fall through, one of the people said, but they have gained momentum in recent weeks.

The Information earlier reported on the acquisition talks.

The media sector has been consolidating rapidly in recent months as rivals explore mergers to grow their audiences and gain additional leverage with advertisers and distributors. This week, AT&T Inc. and Discovery Inc. said they were merging their content assets, which include streaming services HBO Max and Discovery+.

Smaller companies, including Vice Media Group and BuzzFeed Inc., are each considering going public through special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs. Executives connected to Group Nine Media Inc., in which Axel Springer is also an investor, have launched a SPAC that aims to consolidate the digital-media sector further.

Axios, known for its scoop-laden newsletters and terse reporting style, covers subjects including politics, media, technology and finance. The company, which was previously in talks to merge with sports-focused outlet the Athletic before those discussions halted, generated more than $60 million of revenue last year and was profitable.

Axel Springer, which owns the German newspapers Bild and Die Welt, has been adding to its U.S. media holdings in recent years. The company purchased Business Insider in 2015 for about $500 million and recently bought Morning Brew, a digital publisher that has focused largely on business.

Write to Benjamin Mullin at Benjamin.Mullin@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-21-21 1357ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AT&T INC. -0.85% 28.05 Delayed Quote.-2.47%
DIGITAL MEDIA SOLUTIONS, INC. -0.13% 7.96 Delayed Quote.-33.89%
DISCOVERY, INC. -3.88% 29.01 Delayed Quote.-3.59%
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.42% 34935.47 Delayed Quote.14.63%
KKR & CO. INC. -0.08% 63.76 Delayed Quote.57.47%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2021 174 B - -
Net income 2021 18 273 M - -
Net Debt 2021 161 B - -
P/E ratio 2021 11,1x
Yield 2021 7,44%
Capitalization 200 B 200 B -
EV / Sales 2021 2,08x
EV / Sales 2022 1,99x
Nbr of Employees 226 840
Free-Float 93,6%
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AT&T Inc. Technical Analysis Chart | T | US00206R1023 | MarketScreener
Technical analysis trends AT&T INC.
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Income Statement Evolution
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 29
Last Close Price 28,05 $
Average target price 31,67 $
Spread / Average Target 12,9%
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Managers and Directors
John T. Stankey President, CEO, COO & Director
Pascal Desroches Chief Financial Officer & Senior Executive VP
William E. Kennard Independent Chairman
David S. Huntley Chief Compliance Officer & Senior Executive VP
Matthew K. Rose Lead Independent Director
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