paidContent screen

paidContent is one of three news sites the Guardian is putting up for sale following a strategic review

Guardian News & Media (GNM) has confirmed it "has decided to seek a buyer" for publisher ContentNext Media, which runs a trio of websites including digital media news outlet paidContent, mobile news site mocoNews and "India's digital news monitor" contentSutra.

GNM bought US-based publisher ContentNext in July 2008, which at the time the company said marked a "significant expansion" of its presence in the US market.

The price of this purchase was not released at the time although BusinessInsider reported that it "sold for $12.5 million" and not around $30 million as speculated. Two years later ContentNext founder Rafat Ali announced his departure from the company.

Late yesterday GNM released a statement to say it was considering the sale "following a strategic review".

"ContentNext is a high-quality asset but our focus in the US is on building the Guardian. It's early days but we have received several expressions of interest and are talking to a select number of potential buyers."

In April this year GNM announced its plans to launch a new digital operation in the US, under former editor Janine Gibson, and its new US site homepage went live in September.

Earlier this year the company also
confirmed that the last financial year saw it experience operating losses of £33 million and that as part of a new "digital-first strategy" would need to save £25 million by 2016.

According to a report on the potential sale of ContentNext by paidContent, which also has a UK area of the site, the digital media news site's unique users increased "more than 130 percent between October 2009 and October 2011, to 639,000, while page views were up over 38 percent, to more than 1.3 million".

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