BuzzFeed Inc., the digital-media outlet founded in 2006, is in talks to go public through a merger with 890 5th Avenue Partners Inc., a special purpose acquisition company, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Once public, the company may use its currency to target future acquisitions, said one of the people, who requested anonymity because the talks are private. A transaction value couldn’t immediately be learned. As with any deal that hasn’t been finalized, it’s possible terms change or talks fall apart.

Representatives of BuzzFeed and 890 5th Avenue didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The deal talks follow a tumultuous year for BuzzFeed, which laid off employees during the pandemic and lost revenue from advertising and live events. The company’s balance sheet had improved by last November, when it agreed to buy the HuffPost online news service from Verizon Communications Inc. But now it’s undergoing another round of layoffs as it pares some staffers from that acquisition.

As part of the HuffPost deal, Verizon acquired a minority stake in BuzzFeed that valued the company at about $1.7 billion. That’s roughly the same as BuzzFeed’s valuation in 2016, when Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal invested $200 million in the business, a person with knowledge of the matter said at the time.


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