Buzzfeed C.E.O. Jonah Peretti: ‘I don’t want to sell to anyone’
Buzzfeed C.E.O. Jonah Peretti spoke to staff Thursday about recent reports of a $200 million investment in the company from NBCUniversal, and also discussed the company's future.
"A lot of people want us to be an independent company," Peretti told his staff, according to a person who was at the staff outing at a bar in Gramercy where Peretti made his remarks. "And I do too."
"I don't want to sell to anyone," he said, to cheers from the staff assembled. (A Buzzfeed spokesperson confirmed the conversation.)
Peretti addressed staff during an outing to The Ainsworth in Gramercy, where one staffer took to Twitter to voice his approval.
"Really impressed by the transparency @peretti is throwing down right now at @BuzzFeed," employee Isaac Fitzgerald wrote.
In April 2014, Fortune reported that Buzzfeed discussed a possible sale to Disney, but that negotiations fell apart over the social news site's asking price ("upwards of $1 billion"). Jon Steinberg, then president of the company and now C.E.O. of Daily Mail North America, is said to have favored a sale.
This week, Gawker reported financial data for Buzzfeed, showing that the company brought in $64,095,207 in revenue for 2013 and $46,159,098 for just the first six months of 2014.
Asked about a possible I.P.O. back in June, Buzzfeed president Greg Coleman told POLITICO: "We don't have plans to do anything right now. ... There's lots of interesting people investing in our company. We're doing very well. We're profitable. We have a lot of cash in the bank. So right now, there's literally no news. We are working on building and growing the business. We're not thinking to raise money right now. We're not thinking to have any kind of an exit."