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Refinery29 Being Bought By Vice Media


Vice Media Group, a digital media company focused on youth entertainment and culture, has agreed to acquire Refinery29, an online publisher catering to millennial women. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The deal was signed in New York on Wednesday by Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc and Refinery29 Co-CEOs Justin Stefano and Philippe von Borries. The transaction is expected to close prior to year-end.

"We will not allow a rapidly consolidating media ecosystem to constrict young people's choices or their ability to freely express themselves about the things they care about most. At VICE and Refinery29, the megaphone is theirs to use and the platforms are theirs to build with us," said Nancy Dubuc, CEO of VICE Media Group.

The transaction is the latest between two digital publishers as they seek to consolidate for survival. Last week, Vox Media acquired New York Media, the company behind the New York magazine.

Refinery29 had been scouting for potential buyers for the last few years due to the tough business environment.

The acquisition of Refinery29 will enable Vice Media reach more female millennials, an audience the company lacks. It is also expected to help Vice Media to scale internationally.

Refinery29 is also expected to bolster Vice Media's digital business, while its Originals, e-commerce and creative agency divisions as well as its events business will supplement Vice's additional global lines of business.

Vice Media also noted that following the acquisition, its global audience will grow 17 percent to 350 million unique visitors a month.

Refinery29 will remain a distinct brand within the Vice Media Group portfolio and the business will report directly to Nancy Dubuc. Leadership organization and structures will be announced by the two companies post-closing.

Earlier this year, Vice Media laid off 10 percent of its workforce and consolidated several websites under the Vice.com umbrella.

Vice Media's investors include media giants like Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox as well as private equity firm TPG. However, Disney has repeatedly written down the value of its initial investment of $400 million in Vice Media.

Vice Media now includes an in-house advertising agency, a television network as well as a film and television production unit.

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