Penske Media Corporation is Vox Media’s largest shareholder
The two companies continue their activities independently.
Penske Media Corporation, the parent company of IndieWire, has made a strategic investment in digital publisher Vox Media, making it the largest shareholder in Group Nine Media, owner of New York Magazine and related websites, as well as Thrillist.
The terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but the companies will continue their activities independently after the transaction. PMC CEO and Founder Jay Penske Joins Vox Media Board of Directors.
The news comes less than a month after Vox Media laid off 7 percent of its workforce, or roughly 130 employees, in a decision that CEO Jim Bankoff attributed to the current economic environment. The layoffs were the company’s second in less than six months, after 2 percent of jobs were cut in July 2022.
Vox Media owns dozens of digital media brands, including namesake website Vox, The Verge, Eater, Polygon, SB Nation and Recode. In 2019, the company acquired New York Magazine and its affiliates, including The Cut, Vulture, The Strategist, Grub Street, Intelligencer, and Curbed. In December 2021, the company merged with Group Nine Media, so Thrillist, Popsugar, The Dodo and NowThis also came under the umbrella.
“I have long admired Vox Media’s world-class editorial teams and brands,” Penske said in a statement. “We deeply respect the achievements of Jim Bankoff and Vox Media’s senior leadership team and the company’s remarkable growth over the past decade. The alliance between Penske Media and Vox Media will further strengthen both companies as leaders in modern media and take full advantage of new opportunities. Our two companies have a similar track record of organic and acquisition growth over time, and it made sense to invest in the future.”
“We couldn’t ask for a better partner than Jay and Penske Media to invest in our company’s future success and help build and accelerate our organization’s leading creative and business forces,” Bankoff said in a statement. “Additionally, Penske Media’s investment will allow Vox Media to further expand its existing brands and operations, while providing resources for future acquisitions, and represents another step in Vox Media’s ongoing ascent.”
LionTree acted as financial advisor to Vox Media, while White & Case LLP acted as outside legal counsel. Morgan Lewis served as legal counsel to Penske Media with Panarae Group serving as corporate counsel.
In addition to IndieWire, PMC is represented by Variety, Rolling Stone, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, WWD, SHE Media, Robb Report, Deadline, Sportico, BGR, ARTnews, Fairchild Media, Vibe and GoldDerby has both digital and print brands. Last month, Penske Media Eldridge, which boasts the company’s live content, bought Dick Clark Productions, which produces the American Music Awards and the Golden Globes. PMC also owns other live events, including SXSW and the ATX Television Festival.
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