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The Wall Street Journal: Vox Media in advanced talks to merge with Group Nine Media

Vox Media is in advanced talks to merge with Group Nine Media Inc., according to people familiar with the situation, a deal that would unite two of the biggest players in digital media.

The companies are discussing an all-stock transaction that would give Vox Media 75% ownership of the combined company, with the remaining 25% going to Group Nine Media, the people said. Vox Media Chief Executive Jim Bankoff would helm the company, the people said.

Vox Media, owner of media properties including tech-focused website the Verge, current-events site Vox.com and sports-focused SB Nation, has been expanding. In August, it agreed to acquire cocktail website Punch to deepen its coverage of food and drinks. Vox has explored ways to raise cash for further growth, including the possibility of going public, people familiar with the matter have said.

Group Nine Media, whose brands include news outlet NowThis, lifestyle site Thrillist and animal-focused the Dodo, has also been an active consolidator in the media space. It earlier explored a deal with BuzzFeed and in 2019 purchased female-skewing digital-media company PopSugar.

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

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