Group Nine Media raises US$200m for merger via IPO

Group Nine Media, which owns digital brands including Thrillist, Popsugar, NowThis, Dodo and Seeker, has announced a US$200 million Initial Public Offering via its special purpose acquisition company.

The offering for Group Nine’s blank check holding company will be priced at US$10 per unit for an initial 20 million units, and Group Nine plans to combine its operations with another, as yet unnamed business in the digital media space.

It’s now trading on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol GNACU; the offering is expected to close on 20 January.

Val Morgan Digital (VMD) has recently partnered with Group Nine to publish two of the group’s titles in Australia: Gen Z food, drink and travel brand Thrillist and women’s lifestyle title Popsugar.

The acquisition corporation, like Group Nine itself, is led by CEO Ben Lerer. Imagination Capital partner Richard Parsons and Reddit chief operating officer Jen Wong are also on the board of directors.

Group Nine was formed in 2016 with backing from Discovery, merging Thrillist, NowThis, The Dodo and Seeker. It subsequently acquired PopSugar, with co-founder Brian Sugar becoming president of both Group Nine and now Group Nine Acquisition Corp.

In its initial filing, Group Nine said it would use the funding “for the purpose of effecting a merger, capital stock exchange, asset acquisition, stock purchase, reorganisation or similar business combination”.


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