All eyes on BuzzFeed’s stock market debut – WWD

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Cakes, cats, bright yellow OMG signs, Instagram star Dude With Sign and plenty of confetti were on hand Monday to help digital media company BuzzFeed make its public debut on the Nasdaq, but did- it hits the mark with investors?

So far the answer appears to be no with its stock, which now trades as “BZFD”, down nearly 6% at lunchtime to $ 9.06 after briefly rising 40%. % Earlier in the day.

BuzzFeed’s journey to public markets involves a merger with 890 Fifth Avenue Partners, Inc., a special purpose acquisition company commonly referred to as PSPC, which was completed on Friday, the same day it completed its acquisition of the global youth entertainment company Complex Networks. , joining other brands such as HuffPost and Tasty.

When BuzzFeed first unveiled the PSPC deal in June, it said it could raise around $ 288 million, but last week it revealed it had $ 16 million after some investors chose not to participate, despite having approximately $ 150 million in debt financing.

“Today, I’m grateful to everyone who helped make BuzzFeed the destination for the best things on the internet: video makers, screenwriters, award-winning journalists, internet visionaries – and the most engaged audiences. socially and most diverse in the world. never seen, ”said BuzzFeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti, who rang the bell on Nasdaq. “Our next chapter as a public company will help BuzzFeed, Inc. become a hub for more brands and creators, visionary founders and CEOs, high-quality content for technology platforms, and much more. . “

Other media companies considering PSPCs will follow BuzzFeed’s debut closely. Also known as “Blank Check Entities, “SPACs act as a shell company where investors pour money through an initial public offering. They then use those funds to acquire a company that will inherit its stock market listing minus the traditional process of paying off. time-consuming IPO. While they’ve been here for a while, the media’s interest in them only really took off in 2020 when the pandemic hit the sector hard, making consolidation, especially on the digital side, an increasingly attractive option. Companies that have reduced their marketing budgets, the proliferation of ads swallowed up by Facebook and Google, and the waning interest of venture capitalists in digital media have all played a role.

Animated digital group, the owner of Bustle, Mic and Nylon, among others, is one of those companies that would be explore a possible merger with blank check acquisition companies aimed at valuing at least $ 600 million. Forbes, meanwhile, has partnered with Magnum Opus Acquisition Ltd., a ad hoc acquisition company, to go public in a deal worth $ 630 million.

In contrast, Vice Media’s SPAC talks reportedly ended in September, with the Brooklyn-based company raising $ 135 million from existing investors instead.

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