US private equity buys Gizmodo Media & The Onion from Univision

• Gizmodo, Kotaku and Lifehacker are licensed in Australia as part of the Nine-owned Pedestrian.TV group

US private equity firm Great Hill Partners has acquired the Gizmodo Media Group and The Onion, a collection of premium digital content producers, from Univision Communications.

The combined assets will form a new company named G/O Media Inc. that will be led by digital content industry veteran James Spanfeller, who will also be a significant investor in the company. Financial terms of the private, all equity transaction were not disclosed.

However US media reports had the deal valued at less than US$50m, a considerable discount on the US$135m Univision spent on the digital assets in 2016 when it purchased the media brands in the Gizmodo Media Group from Gawker Media.

Great Hill Partners said the brands reach more than a third of all Americans online each month, attracting approximately 100 million unique visitors. The company’s collection of digital-first brands serve young, diverse influencers with content that reflects their values and passions, including category-leading sites focused on technology (Gizmodo), car culture (Jalopnik), modern women’s interests (Jezebel), sports (Deadspin), life tips and hacks (Lifehacker), gaming (Kotaku), and African American news and culture (The Root), and The Onion, which includes The A.V. Club and ClickHole.

Gizmodo, Kotaku and Lifehacker are licensed in Australia as part of the Nine-owned Pedestrian.TV group after Nine’s merger with Fairfax Media.

“This opportunity comes at a time when the entire digital media category is beginning to be recognised again for its unique ability to meet the diverse content and delivery needs of consumers and advertisers,” said Spanfeller. “As the largest player in our space, G/O Media is in an ideal position to capitalise on this dynamic, and I am excited to collaborate with a great team that boasts an incredible track record to further expand our reach, add value to our advertisers and enrich our visitors’ lives. G/O Media is already the leader among digital media companies speaking to the 10-to-34 year-old market, and we are confident and excited to see that lead expand.”

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