Vivek Ramaswamy acquires 7.7% of Buzzfeed and sends shares soaring

The former Republican presidential candidate is now listed as one of the digital media company's top investors, ranking fourth in terms of shareholders.

Indian-American businessman and former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy became BuzzFeed's fourth-largest investor by acquiring nearly 3 million shares of the digital media company.

According to a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Republican politician purchased 2,723,927 shares from March to date, representing a 7.7% stake in the company.

Ramaswamy's purchase led to a significant increase in BuzzFeed's stock price, which has faced a series of financial difficulties in recent years. The shares rose more than 50% before regular trading began this Wednesday.

According to the filing, Ramaswamy acquired the shares in a price range between $1.47 and $2.51, a valuation he considered undervalued. “The securities of [BuzzFeed] are undervalued and represent an attractive investment opportunity," indicates the document, which highlights that Ramaswamy plans to initiate conversations with the board of directors and/or BuzzFeed management to discuss various operational opportunities. This includes the possibility of implementing a change in the company's strategy to improve its performance and increase its value in the market.

Towards the end of 2022, the digital media company faced a series of financial challenges that triggered staff cuts and attributed to a deterioration in the digital advertising landscape. Early the following year, BuzzFeed sold Complex for $108.6 million and reduced its staff by 16%. In April 2023, a lack of profitability led to the closure of its BuzzFeed News division, with the resulting loss of around 180 jobs. More recently, the company implemented significant changes to its compensation structure, seeking to increase the value of its stock.

Ramaswamy's purchase of BuzzFeed stock raises new questions about what will happen to the company in the future and how it will impact its involvement in the digital media landscape.