Vox Media has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Group Nine Media, a collection of multi-platform media brands including The Dodo, NowThis, PopSugar, Thrillist and Seeker.
Group Nine Media joins Vox Media's editorial brands, including S.B. Nation, New York magazine, The Verge, Vox, Eater, The Cut, Vulture, Polygon and The Strategist.
The deal, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval, is expected to close in early 2022; it is outside the Group Nine SPAC (Group Nine Acquisition Corp), a separate entity.
Jim Bankoff will be the chief executive officer and chair of Vox Media, of which he is also a co-founder. Group Nine Media founder and chief executive officer Ben Lerer will join the board of Vox Media and maintain a presence to help drive critical strategic initiatives and advise on commercial and corporate development.
"Under Ben's stewardship, Group Nine has navigated from a scrappy start-up to one of the biggest and most successful publishers in the industry," says Bankoff. "Much like us, their team has proven to be a leader in both building cherished media brands from the ground-up as well as successfully acquiring and integrating properties. Vox Media will extend its leadership into new categories, formats, and distribution platforms by welcoming more beloved properties into our portfolio with this acquisition. Our combined company will be the premier home for creators, storytellers, journalists, product innovators and business people who want to grow their careers and have an impact through their work. This acquisition will build on and accelerate the leading creative and business strength that both companies already have achieved."
"We could not be more excited about the opportunity to join forces with Vox Media," says Lerer. "This combination will not only create unparalleled scale and revenue diversification, but it will also bring together some of the most popular brands, premium content, and creative and business talent in the world. There is no one I would 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 beginning of our most exciting chapter."