Vox Media, publisher of New York Magazine, acquires Group Nine, whose brands include Popsugar, NowThis, Thrillist and Dodo in an all-stock transaction.

The deal, which will create one of the largest media companies in the United States with around 2,000 employees, is expected to close early next year and is separate from the Special Purpose Acquisition Company, or SPAC. , which Group Nine created last year.

Jim Bankoff will be the CEO and Chairman of Vox Media, while Group Nine Founder and CEO Ben Lerer will join its board of directors and maintain a presence within the company.

“Under Ben’s leadership, Group Nine has grown from a rambling start-up to one of the largest and most successful publishers in the industry. Just like us, their team has proven to be a leader in building cherished media brands from scratch as well as the successful acquisition and integration of properties. With this acquisition, Vox Media will expand its leadership into new categories, formats and distribution platforms by welcoming more popular properties into our portfolio, ”said Bankoff. “Our combined company will be the first home for creators, storytellers, journalists, product innovators and business people who want to advance their careers and make an impact through their work. This acquisition will build on and accelerate the premier creative and commercial strength that the two companies have already acquired. “

Lerer added, “We couldn’t be more excited to join forces with Vox Media. This combination will not only create unprecedented scale and revenue diversification, it will bring together some of the world’s most popular brands, premium content and creative and business talent. There is no one I could trust more to lead this company and the team I love than Jim. He is not only kind and fair, but fearless and focused. This is the start of our most exciting chapter

Reportedly, the two sides started talking this summer when Group Nine met with a number of companies about a merger through its SPAC with the plans to go public. Bankoff told the New York Times, “The IPO may or may not make sense depending on market conditions and other factors, and we’ll keep thinking about it. “

Last week, BuzzFeed, another digital media company, made its public debut via a SPAC, but failed to impress investors as its stock fell 11% on the first trading day. When BuzzFeed unveiled the PSPC deal in June, it said it could raise around $ 288 million, but earlier this month it revealed it had $ 16 million after some investors claimed. chose not to participate, despite having approximately $ 150 million in debt financing.

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