The Wall Street Journal: Online publisher Group Nine to acquire PopSugar

Discovery Inc.-backed digital publisher Group Nine Media has agreed to acquire women-focused publisher PopSugar, the companies said, the latest merger among new-media firms hoping that greater scale will help them sell online ads, where Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google dominate.

The all-stock deal values PopSugar at more than $300 million, according to people familiar with the matter, and will give its shareholders more than 30% ownership of the combined company, which will keep the Group Nine Media name. Group Nine’s shareholders will own the rest.

Group Nine — whose properties include The Dodo, a digital outlet focused on animal stories and videos, and news destination NowThis — was valued at more than $600 million in the deal, the people said. That is consistent with the valuation from its last funding round last month, the people added. Group Nine, whose largest shareholder is nonfiction TV programmer Discovery

DISCA, 1.37%

 , has raised $190 million to date. The combined company is worth about $1 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Group Nine’s purchase of PopSugar is the third digital-media transaction in the past two weeks. Vox Media agreed to purchase New York Media in an all-stock deal that valued New York at about $105 million, The Wall Street Journal reported. Last week, Vice Media agreed to purchase digital publisher Refinery29 for about $400 million in a mostly-stock deal that included some cash, according to people familiar with the matter.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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