A Long, Strange Trip for the ‘Uber for Nurses’Read more

BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti. Photo by Bloomberg.

The Briefing: What BuzzFeed and Vice SPAC Talks Show

Photo: BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti. Photo by Bloomberg.

It turns out SPAC deals aren’t a surefire way to riches for every company executive. That’s one takeaway from our report this morning that neither BuzzFeed nor Vice Media are likely to recapture their 2016-17 era peak valuations when they merge with a special purpose acquisition company to go public. Instead, shareholders in both companies are probably facing a loss, particularly those in Vice, where the haircut could amount to more than 50% of the value.

That seems, how shall we put this…reasonable. After all, neither company is growing much. It’s almost enough to make you think SPAC dealmakers are sensible, if it wasn’t for the fact that startups in the electric vehicle and aviation industry are drawing huge numbers from SPAC mergers despite not having sold any products. Flying taxi startup Archer Aviation going public at a $3.8 billion valuation comes to mind. Sure, those companies are developing revolutionary technologies that could change the world. BuzzFeed and Vice, while each producing hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue a year, aren’t revolutionizing anything.

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