Axios is set to be acquired by Cox Enterprises, a legacy publisher. The cash deal, announced Monday, is expected to close in the next few weeks. Cox will invest $25m in the company that would help it expand into 20 regional US markets. The Virginia company’s three co-founders – Jim VandeHei, Mike Allen and Roy Schwartz – will hold stakes.

Axios HQ, a communications software business, will become an independent company majority-owned by the Axios founders. Axios said the deal was structured “to ensure investments will continue to flow into local news at a time when most commercial investors have abandoned local markets’

Cox’s history in media dates back to 1898, when founder James Middleton Cox bought what is now the Dayton Daily News for $26,000. Last year, the German publishing giant Axel Springer acquired the Washington news site Politico for about $1bn. Axios had also been in talks to sell to Springer, but that deal fell through.

Politico grew into one of the nation’s largest privately held companies. It sold most of its media assets to Apollo Global Management in 2019. VandeHei said: “Hopefully, with Politico first, and Axios today, we have shown a way for serious journalism to thrive in the digital era. This country so desperately needs it.”
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