AOL acquires The Huffington Post

Posted February 9th, 2011 by in

Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL Inc., and Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post. Image credit: Jin Lee, Bloomberg/ LA Times

Internet giant AOL has announced that it purchased news website The Huffington Post for $315 million.

AOL said $300 million of the purchase price would be paid in cash, with the remainder in shares.

The Huffington Post, founded in 2005 by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer and Jonah Peretti, has grown quickly and now attracts 25 million unique monthly visitors.

Citing comScore data, AOL stated that the new combined group will reach 117 million unique monthly visitors in the US and 270 million visitors globally.

“The acquisition of The Huffington Post will create a next-generation American media company with global reach that combines content, community and social experiences for consumers,” AOL chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong said in a statement.

“Together, our companies will embrace the digital future and become a digital destination that delivers unmatched experiences for both consumers and advertisers.”

Arianna Huffington will lead the newly formed Huffington Post Media Group as President and Editor-in-Chief, and described the merge as “a perfect fit.” She said readers would now be able to access more content than ever before, including more local, tech, entertainment, finance, and video based news. “By uniting AOL and The Huffington Post, we are creating one of the largest destinations for smart content and community on the Internet. And we intend to keep making it better and better,” she said.

Co-Founder and Chairman, Kenneth Lerer, said The Huffington Post team had created a potent brand with the proven track record of knowing how to grow traffic, inform and entertain its readers and build a one-of-a-kind online community. “Add that to the powerful scale and resources of AOL and you have the perfect combination for today and the future. Together these two companies will be a premier online content provider. From local citizen reporting through AOL’s Patch, to The Huffington Post’s national reporting on politics, business and culture, consumers will have access to everything they want whenever they want it.”

AOL separated from Time Warner in 2009, ending an eight-year association between the two companies. Since the onset of the Global Financial Crisis, AOL has experienced an unstable time and expects the new acquisition to help boost its declining advertising revenues.