BuzzFeed stock surges after former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy buys activist stake

Former U.S. presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy

Vivek Ramaswamy dropped from the 2024 U.S. presidential election in January.
Image: Brendan McDermid (Reuters)

BuzzFeed stock soared during Wednesday trading following the news that former GOP presidential nominee Vivek Ramaswamy has bought an activist stake in the media company.

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A U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing revealed that Ramaswamy bought 2.7 million shares in BuzzFeed between March 14 and May 21 at a range of $1.54 to $2.51 for a total of about $3.9 million.

The struggling media company’s stock skyrocketed over 50% during pre-market trading on Wednesday following the news and reached an intraday high of $4.56. Since then, shares are up 21% to about $3.03.

Ramaswamy now own a 7.7% stake in BuzzFeed, making him the fourth largest shareholder in the company behind Comcast, NEA Management and Hearst Communications.

In the filing, Ramaswamy said he hopes to discuss with the company’s board and management “numerous operational and strategic opportunities to maximize shareholder value, including a shift in the Company’s strategy.”

A pioneer of digital media, BuzzFeed has struggled since going public in 2021 via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The company, which was once valued at over $1 billion, currently has a market cap of $115 million.

Last year, the media company laid 15% of its staff and shuttered a new division.

In its most recent quarterly earnings report, BuzzFeed said its revenue in the first quarter of the year fell 18% year over yer to $44.8 million. Last month, the company proposed a reverse stock split to keep its listing on the Nasdaq.

Ramaswamy is a biotech entrepreneur who founded the pharmaceutical company Roivant Sciences in 2014. He launched his presidential campaign last year before dropping from the race this January and and endorsing former President Donald Trump.

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