BuzzFeeds’ first day as a public company is a big test

Leaders of other digital media companies are closely following BuzzFeeds’ transition to the public market and will certainly keep track of how things are going now that it has to reveal its financial results to the world every quarter.

Vice Media, the youth culture and news publisher, was in talks this year with an acquisition company, 7GC, about merging and being listed on the stock exchange, reported The New York Times. Vice had been on the hook for payments to private equity giant TPG, one of the investors. But Vice put its plans for publication on hold, announcing in September that it had raised $ 135 million in investor funding, which would be used for “growth initiatives”[ads1]; and for mergers and acquisitions.

A person familiar with the plans said that Vice had decided on a deal with an acquisition company because many investors were much more skeptical of such transactions after regulators and financial experts raised questions about the credibility of companies that had become public with the help of SPAC.

Vox Media, which bought the magazine New York and its website in 2019, is still considering a possible SPAC merger, The Information reported last month. The company recently acquired Punch, a cocktail website.

Bustle Digital Group plans to announce next year, said Bryan Goldberg, CEO, in an interview on Monday. The company, which publishes the women’s website Bustle, has acquired other outlets in recent years, including Gawker and Mic.

“Just the fact that BuzzFeed is out in the public markets is a milestone for the industry,” Goldberg said before the share price fell. “But the first hour of trading was not just a positive surprise, it was a kind of surprise.”

“BuzzFeed and all the other digital media companies have spent the last three years really improving our businesses and really figuring out how we can create value for customers and users,” Mr. Goldberg added. “And I think many of us feel that with renewed optimism and hopefully greater access to capital, we can continue to grow without so much backlash.”

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