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Vivek Ramaswamy Sends BuzzFeed Stocks Soaring After Acquiring 7.7% Stake in Struggling Media Company

Vivek Ramaswamy Sends BuzzFeed Stocks Soaring After Acquiring 7.7% Stake in Struggling Media Company

  • The Indian American entrepreneur and former Republican presidential candidate wants to be an “activist investor” with plans to shake up the company.

Shares of BuzzFeed gained about 20 percent on May 22, after former Republican presidential candidate and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy acquired a 7.7% stake in the struggling media company. He acquired 2.7 million shares in the company between March 14 and May 21 of this year, at prices ranging from $1.54 to $2.5, a securities filing reveals.

 The Indian American wants to be an “activist investor with plans to shake up the company, including a shift in strategy,” the filing said, adding that the shares were acquired with his own funds. He believes the securities of the Issuer are undervalued and represent an attractive investment opportunity,” the filing. He also seeks a “shift in the Company’s strategy,” the filing added. 

He told CNN that he could “help turn things around” the company. “Stay tuned,” he told the news outlet through spokesperson Tricia McLaughlin. BuzzFeed Inc. also issued a statement saying that the company is “purposely structured to protect its editorial integrity. We are always open to hearing ideas from our shareholders.” 

Axios noted that since its “volatile” public debut in December 2021, BuzzFeed has “faced serious challenges on the public market.” It “pursued a reverse stock split effort in April to ensure it could remain on the Nasdaq,” the report said. According to CNN, the company shares have “plummeted roughly 92 percent since its initial public offering in 2021, though it remains above its record low closing price of 67 cents per share.”

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In February, it sold Complex Networks for $108.6 million, after purchasing it for $300 million three years ago, as part of its effort to slash costs while improving the company’s profitability. BuzzFeed’s portfolio of brands includes HuffPost, Tasty and the First We Feast brand that houses its “Hot Ones” YouTube series. Last year, it closed its Pulitzer Prize-winning digital news site as part of a broader move to slash the company’s headcount by 15%.

Ramaswamy suspended his presidential campaign in January and endorsed Trump. The 38-year-old entrepreneur announced in Des Moines on Jan. 15 after a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses. He entered the 2024 race with no prior political experience. Founder of the biotech firm Roivant Sciences and author of the book “Woke Inc., he funded most of his campaign from his fortunes. 

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