BuzzFeed buys ‘HuffPost’ and joins Verizon Media
The companies said in a joint statement that BuzzFeed and 'HuffPost' have complementary audiences and will benefit from this agreement from a larger scale of outreach.
BuzzFeed Inc. has reached an agreement with Verizon Media to acquire HuffPost, as announced by the companies this Thursday. Verizon Media will gain a minority stake in BuzzFeed as a result of the alliance, in a deal that would unite two of the largest players in digital media.
The acquisition of HuffPost it is part of a larger agreement between BuzzFeed and Verizon Media. According to reports The Wall Street Journal, each of the companies will distribute content on the platform of the other and will seek to jointly explore advertising opportunities.
In a joint statement, the companies stated that BuzzFeed and HuffPost have supplementary audiences and they will benefit from this agreement from a larger scale of diffusion.
According to the American economic newspaper, Jonah Peretti, founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, will lead the joint venture. BuzzFeed will lead the search for a new editor-in-chief of HuffPost.
The financial operation is in line with movements in the digital media sector, where many players have sought mergers in recent times.
For Peretti, the agreement with HuffPost it’s kind of a homecoming, as he was one of the founders of the informative website in 2005, then called Huffington Post, With Arianna Huffington Y Kenneth Lerer.
“I have a deep connection to that brand because of the history. But it’s not about nostalgia for me, it’s about the future, the brand and the audience, “Peretti said in an interview.
The CEO of Verizon Media, Guru Gowrappan, explained that the idea for a partnership between Verizon and BuzzFeed was born during a meeting with Jonah Peretti at the CES technology fair in Las Vegas earlier this year. During the meeting, the two executives discussed ways in which the two companies could work together, but did not reach an agreement at the time, he noted.
The talks picked up speed at the end of the year. The two companies have been setting the terms of the deal for several months, according to The Wall Street Journal. “From the beginning, it was pretty clear to me that BuzzFeed was the right partner,” Gowrappan said.
In 2011, AOL bought the Huffington Post for 231.7 million euros, a spectacular price for its time, as part of the bet of the then executive director Tim Armstrong. In 2015, Verizon acquired AOL for € 3.9 billion, assuming the HuffPost in the transaction.