NBCUniversal Nears BuzzFeed $250 Million Investment, Eyes Vox Stake

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Comcast’s NBCUniversal is close to clinching a deal to invest $250 million in BuzzFeed, while the Peacock also is in talks to take a piece of digital-media publisher Vox Media, according to a report.

NBCU’s “handshake” agreement with BuzzFeed would value the the New York-based company at about $1.5 billion, according to a Re/code report citing anonymous sources. The report didn’t reveal how much NBCU may be seeking to plow into Vox (in which Comcast Ventures is already an investor, with a 14% stake) but said it would value Vox at about $850 million.

According to a source familiar with NBCU’s investment strategy, those figures are in the right ballpark. Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that NBCU was exploring possible deals with a range of Internet media companies including BuzzFeed and Vox, as well as Vice Media and Business Insider.

For NBCU, the investments represent an effort to diversify into the fast-growing Internet space — with a particular emphasis on reaching younger audiences, which increasingly are consuming online video as time spent watching traditional TV declines. Both BuzzFeed and Vox have upped their activity in online video in the past year, seeing it as critical to their continued growth.

NBCU and BuzzFeed reps declined to comment. Vox Media did not respond to a request for comment.

NBCU previously was an investor in Re/code, before Vox bought the tech news and events company in May. Vox has raised $110 million from investors including Accel Partners, Comcast Ventures, Khosla Ventures and General Atlantic.

Last year BuzzFeed raised $50 million in funding from venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, reportedly valuing the company at $850 million.

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