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Business Deals

US website Quartz to be sold to Japan's Uzabase

Operator of aggregator NewsPicks will pay up to $110m

Uzabase co-CEO Yusuke Umeda discusses the Quartz acquisition. (Photo by Keiichi Kamei)

TOKYO -- Japan's Uzabase will acquire American business news outlet Quartz for up to $110 million, seeking global reach following the recent U.S. launch of its flagship news app.

The Tokyo-based news aggregator will issue new shares equivalent to 4% of its stock, valued at $25 million, and pay $50 million in cash to Quartz parent Atlantic Media on July 31. It will later pay up to $35 million more, depending on how Quartz performs during the rest of 2018.

Uzabase's flagship business is NewsPicks, a smartphone app offering a news curation service targeting young professionals. The company teamed up with Dow Jones last year to launch it in the U.S., where users are coming on board twice as fast as in Japan.

Founded in 2012, Quartz provides news on economics, finance and other topics through such channels as mobile devices. About 60% of its roughly 20 million readers are in the U.S., and a large share are businesspeople in their late 20s to their early 40s. Quartz's reporter network spans more than 100 countries. Revenue came to $27.6 million in 2017.

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