BUZZFEED SELLS COMPLEX TO NTWRK

BuzzFeed has sold youth-focused media platform Complex to the e-commerce company NTWRK in an all-cash deal for $108.6m, which will result in the layoffs of around 1,000, or 16%, of BuzzFeed's employees.

NTWRK's investors include Universal Music Group, Jimmy Iovine, Main Street Advisors and Goldman Sachs. IGA chief John Janick will serve on the newly merged, as-yet-unnamed company's board of directors. while NTWRK co-founder and CEO Aaron Levant (pictured below) will lead it. Levant launched NTWRK in 2018 with Iovine's son Jamie and Gaston Dominguez-Letelier, and previously teamed with Complex founder Marc Ecko to create the popular ComplexCon in 2016.

"This partnership will give our artists access to a dynamic network to deepen connections with superfans through unique collaborations and cultural moments,” said Janick (pictured below with Jimmy Iovine). "We share a collective vision on how D2C, experiential, brand partnerships and content are mutually reinforcing cornerstones of the fan experience."

Added Levant, "Alongside this impressive team, we will create the definitive global content, commerce and experiential platform of convergence culture."

UMG’s Interscope Geffen A&M and Capitol Music Group will be the first companies to partner with the new entity, although it will be open to artists from both major and independent labels as well. The aim is to deliver "industry-leading and culture-moving experiences and exclusive collaborations, direct to passionate music fans in groundbreaking and authentic ways," per a statement.

IGA previously teamed with NTWRK for an Interscope 30th anniversary vinyl set and a Blackpink clothing and merchandise capsule with legendary graphic designer Takashi Murakami.

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