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BuzzFeed Nears Deal to Go Public Via SPAC, Eyeing Digital-Media Rollup

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BuzzFeed’s deal would generate capital to pursue additional acquisitions.



Photo:

Ted Shaffrey/Associated Press

BuzzFeed Inc. is close to a deal to go public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company, according to people familiar with the situation, part of a plan to consolidate other players in digital media.

BuzzFeed founder and Chief Executive Officer

Jonah Peretti

could announce a deal with

890 5th Avenue Partners Inc.


ENFA -0.20%

—a blank-check company named after the headquarters of Marvel’s Avengers superheroes and founded by investor Adam Rothstein—as early as this week, the people said.

The merger deal would generate capital to pursue additional acquisitions, including Complex Networks, a digital publisher that specializes in streetwear, music and pop culture. BuzzFeed is vying for greater scale to better compete for online ad dollars with tech giants such as

Alphabet Inc.’s

Google,

Amazon.

com Inc. and

Facebook Inc.

The Information earlier reported on BuzzFeed’s plans to buy rivals, including Complex Networks, as a public company.

The deal to take BuzzFeed public marks a turning point for Mr. Peretti, a one-time schoolteacher who parlayed his affinity for stunts that went viral on the internet into a winding career as a digital-media entrepreneur. The 47-year-old executive helped found HuffPost alongside Arianna Huffington in 2005 and began work on BuzzFeed in a small workspace in New York’s Chinatown neighborhood in 2006.

Write to Benjamin Mullin at [email protected]

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