Vivek Ramaswamy acquires activist stake in BuzzFeed, says ‘stay tuned’

Vivek Ramaswamy acquires activist stake in BuzzFeed, says ‘stay tuned’Vivek Ramaswamy acquires activist stake in BuzzFeed, says ‘stay tuned’
via djvlad / YouTube
Former Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has taken an activist stake in BuzzFeed, hinting at a potential strategic shift for the left-leaning media company. 
Key points:
  • Ramaswamy acquired 7.7% of BuzzFeed’s share, a Securities and Exchange Commission form signed on May 14 revealed.
  • The purchase is valued at about $4 million.
  • BuzzFeed’s shares reportedly rose by 22% to around $3.05 early Wednesday following the news.
The details:
  • As an activist investor — defined as an investor who purchases a significant minor stake in a company — Ramaswamy gains the power to influence BuzzFeed’s strategy and organizational structure. The SEC filing states that he will “seek to engage in a dialogue” with the company’s board of directors and/or management about “numerous operational and strategic opportunities to maximize shareholder value.”
  • Founded by Jonah Peretti in 2006, BuzzFeed saw a revenue decline after the social media boom of the mid-2010s. Several rounds of layoffs occurred soon after Peretti took the company public, with the most recent — taking out 16% of its employees — happening in February.
  • AllSides, a company that estimates media bias, rates BuzzFeed News as “left,” which suggests the alignment of its content with “liberal, progressive, or left-wing thought and/or policy agendas.” The media outlet has held up its progressive reputation through the years.
  • Describing it as an “interesting bet,” a source reportedly close to Ramaswamy told Mediate on Wednesday, “Vivek, the anti-woke warrior, buying a material stake in one of America’s most woke media entities would signal to this long time investor that he intends to make it a free speech platform.”
  • Ramaswamy has not elaborated on his plans, only telling multiple media outlets to “stay tuned.” In a statement, BuzzFeed said it is “purposely structured to protect its editorial integrity” and “always open to hearing ideas from our shareholders.”
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