BuzzFeed, the leading tech-powered media company for digital content and commerce for millennial and Gen Z audiences, announced today that it will merge with 890 Fifth Avenue Partners Inc., (Nasdaq: ENFA) a tech, media and telecom Special Purpose Acquisition Company (“SPAC”) to become a public company. 890 Fifth Avenue Partners Inc. has $288 million in trust. The transaction includes an additional $150 million in convertible note financing led by Redwood Capital Management and including CrossingBridge Advisors, Cohanzick Management, and Silver Rock Financial LP. The parent company will be known as BuzzFeed Inc. after the merger and listed on the public market under the ticker symbol “BZFD.”
BuzzFeed’s management team will remain in place, with Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed’s Founder and CEO, and Felicia DellaFortuna, its CFO, continuing in their roles along with other executive team members. In addition, Adam Rothstein, Executive Chairman of 890 Fifth Avenue Partners Inc., and Greg Coleman, an advisor to 890 Fifth Avenue Partners Inc. and former BuzzFeed President, will join BuzzFeed’s Board of Directors. Two additional board members will also be announced in the coming months bringing additional expertise and representation to the combined company.
“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,” Peretti said. “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.”
Peretti added, “the acquisition of Complex Networks will expand our reach into new audiences, complement our entertainment, news, and lifestyle brands, and open the door to even more revenue opportunities.”
Rothstein added, “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.”
As part of the transaction, Peretti and Rothstein also announced an agreement with Hearst and Verizon to acquire Complex Networks, a global youth entertainment company with massive reach through content and events spanning streetwear and style, food, music, sneakers, and sports. The $300 million acquisition – made up of $200 million in cash and $100 million of equity in BuzzFeed – will be completed simultaneously with the closing of BuzzFeed’s merger with 890 Fifth Avenue Partners Inc., and will immediately accelerate BuzzFeed’s revenue growth through synergies and monetization opportunities, and solidify BuzzFeed’s leadership as the preeminent youth digital media platform.
With this acquisition, BuzzFeed becomes even better-positioned to thrive in an age of media consolidation. BuzzFeed has a strong portfolio of brands in key categories: Complex Networks, encompassing streetwear and fashion, food, music, and pop culture; two Pulitzer-Prize winning newsrooms, BuzzFeed News and HuffPost; BuzzFeed Entertainment, the flagship entertainment brand that curates the Internet and culture, and brings joy to its audience with quizzes, lists, and more; and Tasty Lifestyle Brands, which includes the world’s largest food network and several other lifestyle brands that help its audiences live better.
In the years ahead, BuzzFeed will continue to be home to the strongest brands and creators in media, standing up for the values of an increasingly diverse audience. Brands within BuzzFeed receive strong administrative support, a close partnership with BuzzFeed’s sales and commerce teams to power new revenue lines, and distribution across the broader BuzzFeed network. This has been made possible by a now-thriving diversified revenue model and a seamless technology platform built over the past several years. Brands and creative leaders within BuzzFeed maintain their independence, and are empowered to do their best work and reach the broadest possible audience. This model will attract the best digital media founders and CEOs, making BuzzFeed a place where the visionaries of our industry come together to build the future of media.