- Digital media giant announces $1.5 million SPAC merger…
- Transaction expected to close in Q4 2021…
- Deal includes $300 million acquisition of another digital media leader…
Buzzfeed is going public in a deal that values the digital media giant at $1.5 billion.
The company announced a merger with 890 Fifth Avenue Partners, Inc. today which is expected to close in Q4 2021.
Buzzfeed will begin trading under the ticker symbol BZFD after the transaction closes.
The parent company will be known as Buzzfeed, Inc. and will encompass what they call “a strong portfolio of brands in key categories.”
Buzzfeed says those brands include:
- Complex Networks, which will have a mix of streetwear/fashion, food, music, and sports content
- BuzzFeed News + HuffPost News, Pulitzer Prize-winning news organizations
- BuzzFeed, the leading digital media entertainment brand
- Tasty Lifestyle Brands, the leading digital food brand
890 Fifth Avenue Partners, Inc is a SPAC that went public in a $250 million IPO in mid-January.
The company gets its name from the address of The Avengers headquarters in the Marvel series.
They say they are “investment partners that specialize in converging technology, media and telecommunications opportunities”, making Buzzfeed the perfect choice for a merger.
Executive Chairman Adam Rothstein said, “We looked at many different media businesses but none had the kind of brands, digital assets or business model that BuzzFeed does and which we believe can achieve the kind of meaningful growth and returns for our investors. Jonah and his team have built an incredible business. They are resilient, smart, and innovative which will be important as we move ahead.”
890 Fifth Avenue Partners enters the deal holding $288 million cash in its trust account and Buzzfeed says it has “secured approximately $150 million in convertible note financing led by Redwood Capital Management and including CrossingBridge Advisors, Cohanzick Management, and Silver Rock Financial LP.”
The SPAC is led by CEO Emiliano Calemzuk and executive chairman Adam Rothstein while advisors include NBCUniversal ad sale chief Linda Yaccarino, former BuzzFeed president Greg Coleman, Time Warner comms chief Gary Ginsberg, and former ESPN executive John Kosner.
Following the merger, BuzzFeed’s current management team will remain in place, with founder Jonah Peretti remaining CEO and Felicia DellaFortuna as CFO.
Rothstein and Coleman will join BuzzFeed’s Board of Directors and two additional board members will be announced in the coming months.
Peretti said, “BuzzFeed is now the undeniable leader for the next generation of media. We’ve built a slate of essential brands, loved by the most diverse, engaged, and loyal audience on the Internet. With today’s announcement, we’re taking the next step in BuzzFeed’s evolution, bringing capital and additional experience to our business. I am thrilled to have Adam join our team as we work towards becoming the world’s preeminent digital media company.”
As part of the merger, Buzzfeed will also acquire Complex Networks for $300 million.
Buzzfeed describes Complex as “a global youth entertainment company with massive reach through content and events spanning streetwear and style, food, music, sneakers, and sports.”
Under that deal, owners Hearst and Verizon will receive $200 million in cash and $100 million in Buzzfeed stock.
Peretti said that acquisition “will expand our reach into new audiences, complement our entertainment, news, and lifestyle brands, and open the door to even more revenue opportunities.”
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