Nov 15, 2022 - Economy

Scoop: CVC, Group Black partner on bid for Vox Media

Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff speaks onstage during the Vox Media's 2022 Code Conference. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Vox Media)

CVC Capital Partners and Group Black are pursuing a joint bid to buy Vox Media, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The bid comes as the media sector is grappling with a tough economic climate and as CVC, the European private equity giant, is eyeing a consolidation move into more media assets across the U.S.

Driving the news: Last week, CVC and Group Black, a media collective, sent Vox a term sheet outlining details for a potential deal, sources tell Axios.

  • Despite industry challenges, Vox remains a top digital media company, housing popular sites like Eater and SB Nation, plus Thrillist and Seeker which it owns after its Group Nine Media deal last year.
  • Vox was valued at around $1 billion after a $200 million funding round in 2015.

Of note: Vox is not looking to sell the business at the moment, according to one source who spoke with Axios. The company declined to comment.

Yes, but: Even companies not seeking a sale are forced to consider an offer if the price is fair, and if such a move would be in the best interests of the company, its employees, and its shareholders.

Meanwhile: The CVC-Group Black pairing for Vox is the second potential transaction the two are eyeing together.

  • Axios reported on Nov. 1 that CVC would help finance Group Black's plan to acquire BDG, formerly known as Bustle Media Group.
  • Group Black is a media collective that's trying to get marketers and ad agencies to shift more of their ad spending to Black-owned media outlets. Part of its strategy involves acquiring digital media companies.

Zoom in: In fact, one source said that CVC is eyeing a broader media move across the U.S., where it would combine multiple media companies, extract synergies, and streamline the businesses.

  • CVC declined to comment.
  • "We don’t comment on rumors and speculation,” a Group Black spokesperson said.
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