UPDATE 1-Media firms Athletic and Axios in merger talks - WSJ

(Adds details from report, background)

March 26 (Reuters) - News website Axios and sports media firm the Athletic are in talks to merge and could go public through a blank-check company, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The discussions are at an early stage and could fall apart, the report said, adding that the financial terms could not be learned. (

Axios and the Athletic did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

The combined company may seek to raise money for expansion and acquisitions, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the investor presentation.

SPACs, or black-check companies, have been behind some of the most high-profile public listings in the past year, including electric-vehicle startup Nikola Corp and luxury electric-car maker Lucid Motors.

A blank-check firm is a shell company that raises money through an initial public offering to buy an operating entity, typically within two years. (Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)