What’s next? Vivek Ramaswamy acquires activist stake in BuzzFeed, driving shares up

Former GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has reportedly acquired a stake in Buzzfeed, sending shares up 20% for the struggling liberal media company.

The biotech entrepreneur who has pushed companies to stay out of “woke” politics commented, “Stay tuned,” when asked about the 7.7 percent stake and 2.7 million shares in BuzzFeed which launched in 2006.

“BuzzFeed shares opened up 55% on the news. Shares pared back gains and were up about 20% as of 10:25 a.m. ET. The stock closed Tuesday at $2.50,” CNBC reported. “The media outlet went public via a special purpose acquisition company in an ill-received 2021 debut. Shares have fallen 94% since then.”

A May filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission reported that Ramaswamy “believes the securities of the Issuer are undervalued and represent an attractive investment opportunity.”

Ramaswamy will also reportedly “seek to engage in a dialogue” with BuzzFeed’s Board of Directors and/or management “about numerous operational and strategic opportunities to maximize shareholder value, including a shift in the Company’s strategy.”

The filing also reveals that Ramaswamy may suggest “potential changes” in the digital publishing company’s “operations, management, organizational documents, Board composition, ownership, capital or corporate structure, sale transactions, dividend policy, and strategy and plans.”

The company popular for being a news, quiz and games website employed a “planned strategic restructuring” in February and cut 16 percent of its workforce to pare down the company’s expenses. The cuts would purportedly allow the company to “become more agile, sustainable and profitable.”

According to the SEC filing, Ramaswamy will review his “investment” in the company”on a continuing basis and depending upon various factors, including without limitation, the Issuer’s financial position and strategic direction, the outcome of any discussions referenced above, overall market conditions, other investment opportunities available to the Reporting Person, and the availability of securities of the Issuer at prices that would make the purchase or sale of such securities desirable.”

“It’s an interesting bet,” an unnamed source close to Ramaswamy told Mediaite 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.”

“If he turns it around financially, he would have serious street cred for another conservative political move,” the source said. “There is a ton of equity risk however. Certainly not his financial prowess driving this decision.”

Frieda Powers

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