AOL Buys Huffington Post for $315 Million

Nice job cashing out by Arianna Huffington, now that the HuffPo has turned into a typical free-for-all content farm.  The most logical move was to hand over the keys at a great valuation to AOL ($AOL), a supposed “content company” still in search of its raison d’etre.

From the New York Times:

AOL to Buy The Huffington Post in $315 Million Deal

The Huffington Post, which began in 2005 with a meager $1
million investment and has grown into one of the most heavily
visited news Web sites in the country, is being acquired by
AOL in a deal that creates an unlikely pairing of two online
media giants.

The two companies completed the sale Sunday evening and were
expected to announce the deal Monday morning. The deal will
allow AOL to greatly expand its news gathering and original
content creation, areas that its chief executive, Tim
Armstrong, views as vital to reversing a decade-long decline.

Henry, here’s how the deal was structured, FYI:

The two companies completed the sale Sunday evening and announced the deal just after midnight on Monday. AOL will pay $315 million, $300 million of it in cash and the rest in stock.

Tim Armonstrong‘s anachronistic bet on content and “news” is starting to look increasingly Courtney Love Crazy.  And that’s coming from a content creator.  His last quarterly ad revenues were down 29%, display ads were down 14%.  The best part of the deal for AOL is that Arianna sticks around and takes control of the whole ship, content-wise.  The following from the official press release:

As part of the transaction, Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post’s co-founder and editor-in-chief, will be named president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, which will include all Huffington Post and AOL content, including Engadget, TechCrunch, Moviefone, MapQuest, Black Voices, PopEater, AOL Music, AOL Latino, AutoBlog, Patch, StyleList, and more.

Expect a doubling of posts per day from all of those sites.  And will she really allow Engadget to live alongside TechCrunch for much longer?

Sources:

AOL to Buy the Huffington Post (NYT)

You’ve Got Arianna (AllThingsD)

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