BuzzFeed shares slump in debut after troubled SPAC merger By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Buzzfeed employees work at the company’s headquarters in New York January 9, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo (Reuters) – Shares of BuzzFeed Inc slumped 13% in their Nasdaq debut on Monday, after the digital media company completed a $1.5 billion blank-check merger last week that saw a majority of investors pull out



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Buzzfeed employees work at the company’s headquarters in New York January 9, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) – Shares of BuzzFeed Inc slumped 13% in their Nasdaq debut on Monday, after the digital media company completed a $1.5 billion blank-check merger last week that saw a majority of investors pull out their money.

New York-based BuzzFeed’s stock opened up 14% at $10.95 and rose to $14.77 before erasing those gains in volatile trading. At 11.16 a.m. ET, the shares were changing hands at $8.36 each.

Last week, BuzzFeed said it would receive only 6% or nearly $16 million of proceeds from the trust account of the blank-check company after shareholders redeemed a majority of their stake.

890 Fifth Avenue Partners Inc, the publicly listed acquisition vehicle named after the fictional Avengers mansion, had raised $287.5 million in its public offering in January.

Special purpose acquisition companies typically sell shares at $10 apiece, put the cash in a trust account and then search for a company to buy. Its shareholders can choose to redeem their shares in return for cash.

BuzzFeed, which produces news, videos and online quizzes, was founded in 2006 by Jonah Peretti and John Johnson, and its content quickly grew popular among the youth.

It split its news and entertainment businesses in 2016. The same year, the company was valued at $1.7 billion when Comcast (NASDAQ:) Corp-owned NBC Universal invested $200 million in it.

BuzzFeed, which bought news website HuffPost from Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:) last year, acquired youth entertainment company Complex Networks from Hearst Corp and Verizon in June this year.

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