BuzzFeed acquiring HuffPost from Verizon Media

(Logo: BuzzFeed, Graphic: The Desk)

BuzzFeed has agreed to acquire its digital content rival HuffPost from Verizon Media as part of an all-stock purchase that includes other business dealings between the two companies.

The deal was first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

As part of the deal, Verizon Media will make a cash investment in BuzzFeed and acquire a minority stake in the company, and both sides will syndicate digital content across its owned-and-operated platforms

BuzzFeed will search for a new editor-in-chief to run HuffPost, the digital news and opinion website launched by Arianna Huffington in 2005 and formerly known as the Huffington Post until 2017. Jonah Peretti, the current chief executive of BuzzFeed and a co-founder of HuffPost, will oversee both operations.

In addition to the content partnership, BuzzFeed and Verizon will explore strategic digital advertising opportunities.

Conversations between BuzzFeed and Verizon Media began earlier this year at a tech conference in Las Vegas, the Journal reported on Wednesday. Negotiations continued for several months as Verizon Media weighed different options for its HuffPost property, the newspaper said.

Then known as the Huffington Post, the site was sold to AOL in 2011 for $315 million. Verizon acquired the site and other digital media properties when it bought AOL for $4.4 billion four years later.

BuzzFeed and HuffPost’s editorial operations contain some overlap, and it was not immediately clear if the deal announced on Wednesday would result in layoffs at either property.