Category: vice

Politico sells, Forbes SPACs and Vice cuts



The Equity crew felt that there was enough media news out recently that we simply had no choice but to fire up a Twitter Space and have a chat. The above episode is a discussion of a few things, in a loose and relaxed manner, so don’t take any of the Verizon jokes too seriously, Verizon, as we still work for you. For a few more days.

Regardless, here’s what Danny and Alex got into:

  • Politico sells for $1 billion: Its new parent company Axel Springer is also buying the rest of Politico Europe and all of Protocol at the same time. This deal exploded everyone’s Twitter feed due to its scale, and the fact that it was one heck of an exit for a media company. One billion dollars? For media? In this economy? Yes!
  • Forbes is going public via a SPAC: Yep, the venerable Forbes magazing and its enormous digital arm are taking the blank-check route to the public markets, which means that we got its numbers and time to stroll through them. Our take is that Forbes has done massive work to take its IRL brand and extend it into the digital world. The company has big plans to boot, and will be worth more than $800 million when it combines.
  • Layoffs hit Vice: As Vice turns its focus to video content — you’ve heard this story before — it is shedding some of its editorial staff. The layoffs were a stinkbomb (Read more...)

Understanding the media company SPAC push



Sorry for all the SPAC coverage today, but a host of richly valued private companies that have an ocean of venture capital funds under their belt are going public. We have to pay attention.

Earlier today, TechCrunch covered the brand-new Better.com SPAC deal that will take the digital mortgage provider public. But it was hardly the only company working to combine with a blank-check company that demanded our attention today. There are a few media companies looking to do the same: Vice and the previously named Bustle.

It’s notable that we’re discussing SPAC deals for media companies at all because a few days ago, CNBC reported that such efforts had come into doubt, noting that the recent SPAC slowdown had led to “digital media companies [reassessing] their timeline on going public.”

Writing this to you as someone currently being spat out from a phone company into the hands of private equity, I was not terribly surprised that companies in my business were not enjoying the warmest of public receptions. After all, we’d seen some software companies delay their IPOs in recent weeks — though those efforts are now back on, largely — so to see the ever-less-attractive media concerns of the unicorn realm hold off on their offerings simply didn’t shock. Especially as SPAC stocks have taken a hammering.

And then, today.

Earlier this morning, Axios reported that Bustle, now BDG, still intends to pursue a SPAC-led public debut later this year. Per our friends over at Big Bullet (Read more...)