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Bustle Digital Hires Bank To Explore Deal To Go Public (Report)

The digital media group explores a blank-check merger.
(II Studio)
(II Studio)
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Bustle Digital Group is exploring going public through a SPAC merger, Reuters reports.

Why It Matters: BDG has “often purchased struggling media brands and sought to cut costs and turn them around.” In the process, the group has assembled a collection of publications with over 82 million readers. Bustle is aiming to raise $600 million in a deal and could use the SPAC money to acquire more publications.

What is Bustle? It’s a digital media group owning several websites such as Bustle, fashion Magazine W, millennial-focused news site Mic, and lifestyle publication Elite Daily. The group is led by Bryan Goldberg, who co-founded Bleacher Report in 2007 and later sold it to Turner Broadcasting for $200 million.

How Does BDG Make Money? BDG is an ad-based business, “leveraging its large stable of brands.” It’s a departure from many media operations that rely on subscription fees these days.

  • The company came up with just shy of $100 million in revenue in 2020 and achieved a positive EBITDA for the first time.

So Why SPACS? Well, SPACs were all the rage in 2020. According to SPACInsider.com, 248 SPACs went public in 2020 and raised more than $83 billion in total. This year is already off to a hot start with 28 SPAC IPOS raising more than $6.8 billion.

Looking Ahead: The company has hired investment bank Farvahar Partners to “identify an attractive deal with a SPAC.” It’s possible no deal will materialize.

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