Media

Vice Media in talks to acquire Refinery29

By Jennifer Faull | Deputy Editor

July 28, 2019 | 3 min read

Vice Media is reportedly in talk to acquire online publisher Refinery29.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the talks are ongoing and may not result in an offer.

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Vice Media

Refinery29 is a women’s focused publisher, claiming to reach over 425 million readers globally, and is backed by the likes of ad network WPP, Hearst and Discovery. Last year it was forced to cut 10% of its workforce after its annual revenue fell 5% short of expectations

Since then it has made attempts to diversify its revenue streams, including the launch of a marketing and creative consultancy called the The29th which is working for clients including Walgreens Boots Alliance.

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Vice Media has faced similar struggled in monetising its, largely male, audience. In the past year it’s also made a global cull of staff while one of its biggest backers, Disney, made a $350m write-off on its investment. Founder Shane Smith stepped back while former A+E Networks exec Nancy Dubuc stepped up as chief executive amid a number of sexual harassment scandals plaguing the company.

However, Dominique Delport, president of international and chief revenue officer at Vice, recently told The Drum that the publisher had “grown up” and was positive about its future.

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