May 22, 2024 - Business

Vivek Ramaswamy acquires activist stake in BuzzFeed

Vivek

Vivek Ramaswamy. Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Former GOP presidential nominee and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has acquired a 7.7% stake in BuzzFeed, according to a new regulatory filing.

Why it matters: Shares in the struggling media company jumped more than 50% to $4.15 in pre-market trading, their highest point since March 2023.

Zoom in: The 13D filing indicates that Ramaswamy plans to be an activist investor with plans to shake up the company, including a "shift in strategy."

  • The shares were acquired with his personal funds, the filing said.
  • Representatives for BuzzFeed and Ramaswamy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

By the numbers: Ramaswamy acquired 2.7 million shares in BuzzFeed between March 14 and May 21 of this year, at prices ranging from $1.54 to $2.51.

Catch up quick: Ramaswamy dropped out of the Republican presidential nomination in January and endorsed former President Trump.

  • The 38-year-old biotech entrepreneur made his name on the campaign trail as an active participant in media — appearing consistently on cable TV networks and podcasts, and posting frequently on social media.

The big picture: BuzzFeed has faced serious challenges on the public market ever since its volatile public debut in December 2021.

  • The company pursued a reverse stock split effort in April to ensure it could remain on the Nasdaq.
  • Last week, BuzzFeed announced changes that would tie most of the executive team's compensation, including CEO Jonah Peretti's, to the company's stock performance.
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