AOL just bought Huffington Post for $315 million, All Things D reports.Arianna Huffington will become AOL’s editor in chief, in charge of “All Huffington Post and AOL Content, Including News, Tech, Women, Local, Multicultural, Entertainment, Video, Community, and More.”
The price is $300 million in cash, $15 million of stock.
At first glance, this looks like a great buy. AOL will get a much-needed editorial voice, and another huge content portal — this one with cachet among younger and more progressive readers.
As for how the deal happened… Kara Swisher reports that Huffington and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong “started talking in early November of last year at the Quadrangle Conference in New York and continued their discussions through the holidays. Armstrong made the official offer to Huffington by phone in January, while she was at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and he was snowed in in New York.”
Swisher says HuffPo expects about $65 million in sales this year, so the deal was roughly a 5X multiple.
HuffPo CEO Eric Hippeau will leave, as will ad boss Greg Coleman, but the rest of the staff is moving over to AOL with Huffington, Swisher says.
The transaction is expected to close late this quarter or early next quarter.
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