NBCUniversal is nearing a deal to invest $250 million in BuzzFeed, according to Re/code. The media conglomerate is also deep in negotiations with Vox Media, an investment that would bring the online publisher’s valuation to $850 million.
Re/code reports that NBCUniversal has a “handshake” agreement with BuzzFeed, which will be valued at $1.5 billion if the deal goes through. Sources familiar with the matter told Re/code that both the BuzzFeed and Vox investments are close to being finalized.
The news comes a week after the Wall Street Journal alleged that NBCUniversal was talking to multiple online media companies in a ploy to better target millennial audiences. As Re/code writes, the company needs a new approach to win back young eyeballs:
People familiar with the proposed deals say they’re part of a new effort from NBCU CEO Steve Burke to bet on digital outlets he thinks can tap into Millennial audiences, who are tuning out of NBCU’s TV networks and most others. The idea is that NBCU can get a crash course on digital content and distribution from its new investments — and that those companies may want to distribute some of NBCU’s content as well.
BuzzFeed is already worth $850 million, having raised $50 million last year from leading venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz; Vox Media is currently valued at $380 million.