Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos apparently didn’t waste too much time before signing the $250 million Washington Post deal in 2013.
Although it was one of the largest acquisitions he’s ever done at the time, Bezos says he didn’t do any due diligence and just accepted the first offer that came from Don Graham, the former owner of the Washington Post, according to a profile by Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky.
“This is the first company I’ve ever been involved with on a large scale that I didn’t build from scratch,” Bezos told Lashinsky. “I did no due diligence, and I did not negotiate with Don [Graham]. I just accepted the number he proposed.”
Part of the reason Bezos signed the deal fast probably had to with the business upside he saw in the newspaper publication. But it’s also because of his belief in having a political watchdog for the public’s good, he said.
“We need institutions that have the resources and the training and the skill, expertise, to find things,” Bezos said. “It’s pretty important who we elect as President, all those things, and we need to examine those people, try to understand them better.”
In fact, he was so intrigued by the Post that it was Bezos who reached back to Graham, after initially holding back from the deal, according to a WSJ article published back in 2013.
The report says Bezos hesitated on the deal because he didn’t have enough time to review the details of the transaction. But a month before completing the deal, he reached out to Graham with an email, saying, “If you’re interested, I am.”
In a 2014 interview with Business Insider, Bezos explained he was ultimately convinced after realising that his experience in the online world and financial backing could re-energize the Post’s declining print-based business.
“I didn’t know anything about the newspaper business, but I did know something about the Internet…That, combined with the financial runway that I can provide, is the reason why I bought The Post,” he said.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through hispersonal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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