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Group 9 Media acquires PopSugar

October 8, 2019

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

This week marks another massive media merger. Group 9 Media announced that it acquired PopSugar, a multimedia entity that started in 2006 by the husband-and-wife team Brian and Lisa Sugar. Mr. Sugar said in a statement that joining forces with Group Nine allowed his digital brand “to build a scalable business model that sets the standard for the next-generation media company.”

The news comes on the heels of Vice Media’s announcement that it acquired Refinery29 in a mostly stock deal, while the week before, Vox Media purchased New York Media in an all-stock acquisition.

Group 9 is the publisher of the viral-video site NowThis, the animal site The Dodo, the food-drink-and-lifestyle site Thrillist and other outlets while PopSugar includes a shopping platform, a cosmetics line, and a festival business with an audience of mostly millennial women.

The Group Nine chief executive Ben Lerer said in the statement that the purchase would help solidify Group Nine as a “next-generation media company with significant scale, deeply loyal and engaged audiences, multiplatform expertise, and highly diversified revenue.”

“Consolidation in digital media is something that is going to happen,” he said last November in an interview.

Lerer is also a managing partner in the venture capital firm Lerer Hippeau, which was co-founded by his father, Kenneth Lerer. The firm has several media investments, including BuzzFeed and Axios.

Group Nine has raised $190 million to date, including a $50 million investment led by Discovery in September that valued the business at more than $600 million.

However, the terms of the deal were not disclosed.


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