Web services company AOL Inc. [NYSE:AOL] has agreed to acquire The Huffington Post, the influential news, analysis, and lifestyle website founded in 2005 by Arianna Huffington, for $315m.
Approximately $300m of the total amount will be paid in cash.
The transaction, which still subject to customary closing conditions, including receipt of government approvals and is expected to close in the late first- or early second-quarter 2011, aims to create a premier global, national, local, and hyper-local content group operating across online, mobile, tablet, and video platforms. Following the close of the acquisition, AOL will accelerate its strategy to deliver a differentiated range of news, analysis, and entertainment produced by writers, editors, reporters, and videographers around the globe.
With the deal, Arianna Huffington will become President and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, which will integrate all Huffington Post and AOL content, including among the others, Engadget, TechCrunch, Moviefone, MapQuest, Black Voices, PopEater, AOL Music, AOL Latino, AutoBlog, Patch and StyleList.
The new group will have a combined base of 117m unique visitors a month in the United States and 270m around the world.
According to Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO of AOL, the acquisition will create a next-generation media company with global reach that combines content, community, and social experiences for consumers.
Arianna Huffington added that “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”.