Digital news service BuzzFeed said Thursday it is going public by merging with special purpose acquisition corporation, or SPAC, 890 Fifth Avenue Partners Inc. (ENFA) in a deal with an implied valuation of 1.5 billion. SPACs, or blank-check companies, raise money in an initial public offering and then have two years to acquire a business, or businesses. As part of the deal, BuzzFeed has agreed to acquire Complex Networks from Hearst and Verizon (VZ), a network of brands aimed at millennials and Gen Z that includes categories like streetwear and fashion, food, music and sports. That deal is priced at $300 million, split between $200 million in cash and $100 million in equity. BuzzFeed already owns HuffPost News and Tasty Lifestyle Brands, among others. 890 Fifth Avenue has $288 million in trust and the deal includes an additional $150 million in convertible bond financing, led by Redwood Capital Management and including CrossingBridge Advisors, Cohanzick Management, and Silver Rock Financial LP. Once the deal closes, the new company will be called BuzzFeed Inc. and will trade on a public exchange under the ticker "BZFD." The news was first reported by the Wall Street Journal late Wednesday. Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed Founder and CEO will retain that role along with the rest of the management team. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.
-Ciara Linnane; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
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