BuzzFeed
  • BuzzFeed is closing in on a deal to go public via a merger with SPAC 890 Fifth Avenue Partners, WSJ reported.
  • The deal with the blank-check company could come this week, people familiar with the situation told the WSJ.
  • Capital raised would let BuzzFeed go after other digital publishers, as it aims to compete with Google and Amazon for ad dollars.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

BuzzFeed is closing in on a deal to go public through a merger with special-purpose acquisition company, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The deal with media-and-telecom focused SPAC 890 Fifth Avenue, named after the fictional Avengers mansion, could be announced as early as this week, people familiar with the situation told the WSJ. The terms of the deal are not publicly known.

Proceeds from the merger would be used toward making further acquisitions, with Complex Networks seen as a potential target. A deal for the publisher focused on youth culture could significantly boost BuzzFeed's revenue.

The New York-headquartered company's acquisition of HuffPost last year sparked speculation that it could attempt to buy other digital media rivals by combining with a blank-check company.

BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti hopes the Complex acquisition will help the combined organisation to scale up in the face of competition from Google and Facebook for digital advertising business, the WSJ report said.

SPACs typically aim to first secure a stock-market listing and then identify a private company to acquire and merge with, offering businesses an alternative to the traditional IPO process. There have been about twice as many listings through blank-check companies so far in 2021, compared with traditional offers. Around $108 billion (around R1.5 trillion) has already been raised across 349 SPAC IPOs year-to-date, according to data from SPACInsider.com.

The emergence of SPACs is a positive force for digital media, because large-scale companies like BuzzFeed and Vox have mostly given up on selling to major cable or media companies, a media executive told Insider in December.

BuzzFeed declined to comment on the WSJ's report.

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