The co-founder of Quartz and its editor in chief agreed to buy the business news website from Japanese financial data and media company Uzabase Inc., a deal that comes as Quartz has suffered from the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Uzabase on Monday said the site would be sold to Quartz’s co-founder and chief executive, Zach Seward, in a management buyout that would make it private once again. Editor in Chief Katherine Bell will take a minority stake. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
The company said that the site would seek new investors. As part of the deal, Uzabase CEO Yusuke Umeda will make a personal loan to Quartz, “demonstrating his continued belief in the value of the Quartz business,” Uzabase said.
Uzabase acquired Quartz in mid-2018 for about $86 million but saw its revenue drop significantly as the companies attempted to reposition the site as a subscription business. That, coupled with the effects of the pandemic, led the publicly traded Uzabase to seek to exit from the business, The Wall Street Journal reported last month.
Founded in 2012 by Atlantic Media, Quartz has traditionally covered business through a global lens. It has created international editions, including Quartz Africa and Quartz India. In all, the site employs about 110 people in the U.S., the U.K., Hong Kong, India and Africa. Earlier this year, Quartz eliminated about 80 positions. In 2019, the site’s U.S. staff voted to unionize and is continuing to negotiate a contract with the company.