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Axel Springer to acquire stake in Thrillist Media Group

Axel Springer has announced it intends to acquire a minority interest in New York City-based Thrillist Media Group (TMG), a digital media company and lifestyle destination for millennial men.

The investment is an important next step in Axel Springer’s strategy to broaden its global reach, increase its English-language offerings and expand its commitment to innovative digital media content. Once completed, this will make Axel Springer the largest outside investor in Thrillist Media Group.

Today’s announcement comes one day after Axel Springer announced its agreement to acquire Business Insider, the leading digital business news service in the US. The acquisition of Business Insider will make Axel Springer one of the world's sixth largest digital publishers in terms of reach.

Thrillist was founded in 2005 by Ben Lerer, CEO, and Adam Rich, Editor-in-Chief. It reaches 15m monthly unique visitors to Thrillist.com, and over 80m a month across its digital, social and mobile platforms, TMG operates the popular lifestyle portal Thrillist along with related daily newsletters and mobile app, with a focus on the sought-after demographic of 18 to 34-year-old men. Thrillist has local editions covering more than 35 cities in the US and Europe. In the last year, Thrillist traffic has seen 100 per cent year-over-year growth, with more than 66 per cent of traffic coming from mobile.

Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer SE, said, ‘The investment in Thrillist is a further step we are taking to expand our global footprint as a digital publisher, especially in English-language markets. Thrillist has become a first choice, particularly among millennial men. We see strong further potential and are looking forward to close cooperation with Ben, Adam and the whole Thrillist team.’

Ben Lerer, Co-Founder and CEO of Thrillist Media Group, commented, ‘We are very excited about this announcement. Axel Springer’s track record of success and its deep understanding of the digital media landscape make it an ideal partner as well as a huge asset for our media team as we continue to expand our rapidly growing business.’

Axel Springer’s investment will help enable TMG expand into new, targeted content verticals, broaden its video and social resources, aide in the expansion of its experiential events team, continue the development of its proprietary data and technology platform, Pinnacle, and further its newly formed branded content creation division, The CoLab.

The company’s related e-commerce business, JackThreads, is not part of this investment and will in the future be operated as a separate company.

Completion of this transaction is expected in early October.

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