Axel Springer to merge Business Insider, eMarketer in 2020

FILE PHOTO: CEO of German publisher Axel Springer SE Mathias Doepfner delivers a speech during the annual news conference in Berlin, Germany, March 8, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Axel Springer, the German publisher, said on Thursday it would combine the operations of its two main U.S. units, millennial-focused financial news site Business Insider and market researcher eMarketer.

The news comes as private-equity house KKR readies an offer to buy out minority shareholders in Springer for 63 euros a share, supporting its main owners who want to take the company private and pursue long-term growth.

Insider Inc. and eMarketer Inc. will join forces on Jan. 1, 2020, and Insider CEO Henry Blodget will head the merged operation, Springer said in a statement.

Business Insider, which Springer bought in 2015, has led its push into digital news. Its revenues have grown at an average annual rate of 33% to reach $100 million in 2018, when it turned a profit, according to a Springer presentation.

Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Ludwig Burger