German publisher Axel Springer completes Politico takeover


BERLIN (AP) — German publisher Axel Springer SE said Tuesday it has completed its acquisition of U.S.-based political news outlet Politico.

The announcement came a day after Axel Springer ousted the top editor of its flagship publication in Germany over misconduct allegations.

The removal of Julian Reichelt from his post as chief editor of tabloid Bild was seen by some commentators in Germany as a possible nod toward concerns from its majority owner, U.S. investment firm KKR, following media reports that the 41-year-old had acted inappropriately toward female employees.

Axel Springer said in a statement that the acquisition of Politico, tech news site Protocol, E&E News and Agency IQ from founder Robert L. Allbritton was completed after it received the necessary regulatory approvals.

A purchase price wasn’t announced, but German media have reported it to be about $1 billion.

“We have always believed deeply in the digital journalism business model and Politico is a prime example of how to make it work,” Axel Springer quoted its chief executive Mathias Doepfner as saying.

“We will work with Politico to further elevate its growth potential and aim to help expand its offering internationally,” he said.

Axel Springer has increasingly moved beyond its traditional European publishing market in recent years, including by investing in specialist online portals such as recruiting site Stepstone.

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