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Guardian and Observer sell AutoTrader to keep the lights on

by on 24 Jan, 2014

Guardian Media Group (GMG), owner of The Guardian and The Observer, has sold its majority stake in the AutoTrader group for about £850 million.  This will give it a cash mountain of about £1 billion to keep the lights on for the expansion of both publications, on paper and online.

Better than the EMAP investment

Wise move.  Much better than the investment made in the business-to-business magazines of EMAP in December 2007.  Then, at the high of the market, it played a third part in the dismemberment of EMAP.   Bauer took the consumer and specialist magazines and interests; Apax, a private equity operation, and GMG took the B2B side.  Apax wrote down the EMAP investment to nothing as the crunch hit.

Interest from the USA

GMG will put the cash into expanding its core interests.  And these look good, as a publishing venture.  It has an alliance with the New York Times, has cracked the US NSA bugging story and has built interest in its online news in the USA.

Worth investing in

It rebranded its news site theguardian.com  in 2003 and now has a global rank of being the 161st most popular site in the world, according to Alexa.  A quarter of visitors come from the USA, just behind the UK visitors.  Well worth investing in.

Perhaps, just perhaps, good investigative journalism generating good content can survive.

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