Vox Media in Advanced Talks to Buy Thrillist Owner Group Nine
(Bloomberg) -- Vox Media Inc. agreed to acquire Group Nine Media Inc. in an all-stock deal, putting New York magazine, The Verge and Eater under the same roof as websites including PopSugar and Thrillist.
The deal between the closely held companies will close in early 2022, according to a statement Monday. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. The transaction doesn’t involve Group Nine Acquisition Corp., a separate blank-check company that had been created for potential media deals.
The combined company is projected to have revenue of more than $700 million and profit of more than $100 million in 2022, people familiar with the matter said. Vox will own 75% of the combined company, with Group Nine holding 25%, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information.
Group Nine CEO Ben Lerer said in a note to his staff before the transaction was announced that the combined company would be called Vox Media and that Vox Media chief Jim Bankoff will be CEO. Lerer will join the board.
A deal would mark the latest high-profile transaction in digital media. Last year, BuzzFeed bought HuffPost. As part of going public this month, BuzzFeed acquired youth-focused media company Complex Networks from Hearst Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. BuzzFeed shares have fallen 35% since their public debut on Dec. 6.
Digital media companies have struggled to compete for online ad dollars with tech giants like Google and Facebook, and have been looking to combine with each other to offer marketers a larger audience.
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