BuzzFeed sells Complex for $108.6M, will lay off 16% of its workforce

BuzzFeed announced it sold Complex, a media startup that focuses on streetwear and pop culture, to the live-stream video shopping network NTWRK.

According to BuzzFeed, it sold Complex in a $108.6 million all-cash deal, with an additional $5.7 million to cover severance and other expenses for laid-off Complex employees.

BuzzFeed also announced it will be laying off 16% of its own workforce due to company restructuring, which is expected to save the company $23 million annually.

“The sale of Complex represents an important strategic step for BuzzFeed, Inc. as we adapt our business to be more profitable, more nimble, and more innovative.” said BuzzFeed’s co-founder and CEO, Jonah Peretti. “This is also an opportunity to unlock greater value for the Complex brand by combining it with NTWRK’s expansive, commerce-driven business.”

While the company didn’t say exactly what the restructuring involved, it did say that it’s meant to cut costs and make the company more profitable. BuzzFeed says it will give more details on the matter next Wednesday, Feb. 28.

BuzzFeed bought Complex Networks in December 2021 for around $198 million in cash and $96 million in equity.

According to the company, the money from the sale will help BuzzFeed, Inc. improve its financial health by reducing debt and increasing liquidity. 

Last month, in a financial filing BuzzFeed said that it would have $150 million in debt due by 2026, along with an extra $33.8 million from a line of credit, the New York Times reported.

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