Complicated Media Acquired by Stay-Procuring Platform Ntwrk


The dwell buying platform Ntwrk has acquired the music and tradition writer Complicated Media from BuzzFeed Inc. for $108 million in money, finalizing a months-long collection of discussions between the 2 firms.

Common Music Group will function a strategic associate within the tie-up, as ADWEEK first reported. Buyers within the deal embody Important Road Advisors, Jimmy Iovine, Common Music Group and Goldman Sachs.

“Complicated has been a beacon of tradition and innovation for over twenty years,” mentioned Aaron Levant, founding father of Ntwrk and the brand new CEO of Complicated. 

“My journey with Complicated started as an admirer of their authentic journal in 2002, and it has now come full circle as I step into the management function. Alongside this spectacular group, we are going to create the definitive international content material, commerce and experiential platform of convergence tradition,” he added.

The deal doesn’t embody key Complicated Media franchises, resembling First We Feast or Sizzling Ones, which is able to stay beneath BuzzFeed Inc. possession. 

As a part of the acquisition, BuzzFeed Inc. may even obtain $5.7 million associated to using its workplaces and different employment-related prices, in accordance with the writer. 

BuzzFeed Inc. may even cut back its workforce by 16% as a part of the deal, which is anticipated to yield $23 million in annualized financial savings. The small print of the restructuring can be shared on Feb. 28.

“The sale of Complicated represents an vital strategic step for BuzzFeed Inc. as we adapt our enterprise to be extra worthwhile, extra nimble and extra revolutionary,” mentioned BuzzFeed Inc. CEO Jonah Peretti. “That is additionally a possibility to unlock higher worth for the Complicated model by combining it with Ntwrk’s expansive commerce-driven enterprise.”

Complicated and Ntwrk deal logic

Complicated Media was initially acquired by BuzzFeed Inc. in 2021 for $198 million in money and $96 million in fairness, however structural headwinds difficult the BuzzFeed enterprise have led it to contemplate choices for procuring money to pay down looming debt obligations.

The sale represents a stark about-face for BuzzFeed Inc., which acquired Complicated Media in tandem with going public through a particular acquisition firm (SPAC). The male-skewing viewers of Complicated Media, together with its experiential flagship occasion ComplexCon and its commerce enterprise, aimed to enhance BuzzFeed Inc., which additionally owns HuffPost.

However the financial system has shifted drastically since BuzzFeed Inc. acquired Complicated Media, and the social writer has fared poorly on the open trade, with its inventory buying and selling at lower than $1.