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Independent to Take Over BuzzFeed Sites in UK, Ireland — Including HuffPost and Tasty

BuzzFeed on Thursday signed a licensing deal that will see its namesake U.K. website and other titles in Britain and Ireland taken over by Independent Digital News and Media.

The pact also includes the U.K. and Irish operations of the BuzzFeed-owned HuffPost, food network Tasty and Seasoned, a vertical targeted at Black British audiences.

In addition to operating the websites, The Independent will also assume the once high-flying digital media company’s commercial and editorial staff in the U.K. and Ireland, the companies said in a statement.

About 30 people will join the Independent from BuzzFeed, Bloomberg reported. No one had been laid off as part of the deal, but the report added that sources “declined to comment on the likelihood of future job cuts.”

Neither the financial terms of the deal nor the length of the pact were disclosed.

The companies boasted that the arrangement forms a “digital supergroup” under the Independent’s management.

“The companies will combine their publishing, data, and ad-tech platforms to allow commercial partners to seamlessly buy across their sites, with combined on-site audiences that together reach half of all British consumers,” the statement said. “This will offer unrivaled reach and authority among Gen Z and Millennial audiences across video, web and social media.”

Combining the brands “represents a new leap forward for our business,” Independent CEO Christian Broughton said.

But it’s the latest in a remarkable series of setbacks for BuzzFeed as the digital media environment has collapsed. The company, founded in 2006, went public in December 2021 with a valuation of about $1.5 billion — but by the end of that year, its stock began a precipitous decline from which it never recovered. The online advertising market has floundered amid a drop in referrals from social media sites and lower user traffic overall.

After years of struggles, the company shuttered its newsroom in April 2023 as it went through the latest in a series of layoffs, slashing 15% of its staff.

BuzzFeed sold Complex, its culture and content platform, in February. It’s also been shopping its food sites Tasty and First We Feast.

The news sent BuzzFeed shares higher in midday trading Thursday, adding over 3 cents, or nearly 9%, to trade at 43.5 cents. The stock last topped $1 in March 2023.

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