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Japanese media firm set to buy US business website Quartz for up to $110m

By Sam Forsdick

US business website Quartz is to be bought by a Tokyo-based media company for between $75m and $110m.

Uzabase has launched a successful bid to acquire the news brand from Atlantic Media, who founded Quartz in 2016.

The sale was confirmed on their website today with the final cost dependent on the financial performance of Quartz in the remainder of 2018.

Quartz editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney and publisher Jay Lauf will both be promoted to the role of chief executive of Quartz.

In a joint statement published online they said: “We created Quartz for people excited by change, and have focused our journalism on helping you see around corners.

“Today we’re unveiling some change for Quartz itself, with a sharper vision of our future and a bet on where media is headed.”

They added: “Uzabase’s ambition echoes our own, to build the leading business news brand of this century, and now we are united in this mission along with you, our readers.

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“We expect the partnership will allow us to provide you with even more high-quality, independent, globally minded journalism about the new global economy.”

The pair confirmed that Quartz will not be going behind a paywall,  however “premium content and services” could require a subscription.

Quartz turned a profit of $1m in 2016. It predicts advertising revenue with rise by 25-35 per cent this year.

Although Quartz is based in New York it also has Africa and India editions and claims 40 per cent of its 19m unique monthly visitors to the site come from outside the US.

In a memo to staff, Atlantic media owner David Bradley said: “Yusuke Umeda [founder of Uzabase] is a pure entrepreneur, an original creator of huge and global ambition.”

“[He] and his colleagues want to retain the Quartz name and our editorial team as the foundation in building what he called, with me, ‘the leading global business news brand in the world.’”

Uzabase’s acquisition follows the purchase of the Financial Times by Japanese publisher Nikkei in 2015.

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