AOL this morning announced the purchase one of the biggest news sites on the web, the left-leaning Huffington Post, in a $315 million, all-cash purchase.
This is just under five times what HuffPo expects to generate as revenue for the current financial year and roughly equivalent to 12 per cent of AOL's current market valuation.
The Huffington Post pulls in 25 million monthly unique visitors, a great feat for a site that was only launched back in 2005, but aggressively pursued an expansion strategy fuelled by cash investments of $37 million.
Arianna Huffington, the site's co-founder and editor-in-chief, will become president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, which includes all of AOL's current media properties (including Engadget and Techcrunch) plus all of Huffpo's websites.
AOL, as a media group, will reach more than 270 million visitors globally with 40 per cent in the UK alone and looks set to compete with the NYTimes in terms of news generation.
It is also the biggest acquisition of the media company since it has been spun off from TimeWarner back in 2009; this comes only a few months after AOL bought Techcrunch and brought in its editor, Michael Arrington.