Over the last couple of years, an array of media companies, venture capitalists and wealthy individuals have quietly explored buying a stake in The Huffington Post. The most recent valuation, according to half a dozen people briefed on the matter: about $1 billion.
Those interested have included the European media companies Le Monde and Axel Springer; the Napster founder Sean Parker; and the private equity firm General Atlantic, those people said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Some of the talks were navigated by AOL, The Huffington Post’s parent company, as it sought ways to raise money, others by the site’s well-connected founder, Arianna Huffington.
But when the music stopped last month and Verizon’s $4.4 billion takeover of AOL was announced, The Huffington Post was still owned by AOL — creating an unlikely corporate home for one of the nation’s leading liberal news outlets.