Leading media business with high quality traffic and strong customer relationships
Veteran media executive Jim Spanfeller to lead the business as CEO
New company will be rebranded as G/O Media Inc.
NEW YORK, CHICAGO and BOSTON – April 8, 2019 – Great Hill Partners, a leading growth-oriented private equity firm, today announced it has acquired the Gizmodo Media Group and The Onion, a collection of premium digital content producers, from Univision Communications Inc. The combined assets will form a new company named G/O Media Inc. (“the Company”) that will be led by digital content industry veteran James (“Jim”) Spanfeller, who will also be a significant investor in the company. Financial terms of the private, all equity transaction were not disclosed.
G/O Media brands reach more than a third of all Americans online each month, attracting approximately 100 million unique visitors. The Company’s collection of digital-first brands serve young, diverse influencers with content that reflects their values and passions, including category-leading sites focused on technology (Gizmodo), car culture (Jalopnik), modern women’s interests (Jezebel), sports (Deadspin), life tips and hacks (Lifehacker), gaming (Kotaku), and African American news and culture (The Root), and The Onion, which includes The A.V. Club and ClickHole.
“This opportunity comes at a time when the entire digital media category is beginning to be recognized again for its unique ability to meet the diverse content and delivery needs of consumers and advertisers,” said Spanfeller. “As the largest player in our space, G/O Media is in an ideal position to capitalize on this dynamic, and I am excited to collaborate with a great team that boasts an incredible track record to further expand our reach, add value to our advertisers and enrich our visitors’ lives. G/O Media is already the leader among digital media companies speaking to the 10-to-34 year-old market, and we are confident and excited to see that lead expand.”
Spanfeller, past Chairman of the IAB and longtime executive board member of Digital Content Next (DCN), has been recognized as leader in the digital content space. He played a key role as CEO in building Forbes.com to market leadership and most recently built a native digital content company from the ground up that featured The Daily Meal and The Active Times, which he successfully sold to Tronc Inc. in December 2016.
Great Hill Partners has deep experience across the media and digital media sectors, with a successful track record of investing in and adding value to companies such as Ziff Davis, IGN, Momondo Group, Educaedu, Legacy.com, Action Media, All Web Leads (AWL), BuscaPé.com, The RealReal, Wayfair, and Bombas.
“From our experience across the digital media landscape, we know it is not every day that an attractive suite of digital media assets becomes available with strong brand recognition among consumers and advertisers, and a set of engaged, vertical audiences which together are larger than Vox, BuzzFeed or Vice,” said Chris Gaffney, Managing Partner at Great Hill Partners. “We are excited by growth and see a great opportunity to further scale a high-quality content producer led by an experienced digital media executive like Jim.”
Sidley Austin LLP served as legal advisor to Great Hill Partners.
About Gizmodo Media Group and The Onion
Gizmodo Media Group and The Onion reach more than a third of all Americans online each month with about 100 million unique visitors, including its extended network. This collection of digital-first brands serve young, diverse influencers with content that reflects their shared values and passions, including category-leading sites focused on technology (Gizmodo), car culture (Jalopnik), modern women’s interests (Jezebel), sports (Deadspin), lifestyle (Lifehacker), gaming (Kotaku), and African American news and culture (The Root), as well as ecommerce (deals.kinja.com), and The Onion, which includes The A.V. Club and ClickHole.
About Great Hill Partners
Great Hill Partners is a Boston-based private equity firm that has raised over $5 billion in commitments since inception to finance the acquisition, recapitalization, or expansion of growth companies in a wide range of sectors in business-to-business and business-to-consumer industries including software, financial and healthcare technology, digital media, eCommerce, and internet infrastructure. Great Hill targets investments of $25 million to $200 million. For more information, visit www.greathillpartners.com.