BuzzFeed is in talks to acquire digital lifestyle publisher Complex Networks as part of its plan to go public by merging with special purpose acquisition company 890 Fifth Avenue Partners, according to three people familiar with the situation. The Complex acquisition would increase BuzzFeed’s revenue by about 30%, giving it more scale and making it more appealing to public market investors.
BuzzFeed’s SPAC plans have, however, been caught up in a broader slowdown in the SPAC market, as SPAC managers have been finding it harder to raise the additional financing, known as private investment in public equity, that helps finalize SPAC mergers. Arranging PIPE financing is now taking several weeks, much longer than it took just three months ago. The Complex Networks acquisition is likely to occur immediately after the SPAC deal, as it would be funded with capital from the SPAC and accompanying PIPE financing.