Disney was reportedly in talks to buy news site BuzzFeed, according to Fortune, citing people familiar with the matter.
The deal fell apart, however, over the price: $US1 billion.
In January 2013, BuzzFeed reported that it raised $US19 million in funding, and was valued at around $US200 million.
Amid that buzz, investors told Business Insider that it’s “definitely a potential billion-dollar company, no question,” saying that it’s particularly appealing because of its mobile advertising solutions and its core team.
But apparently, $US1 billion was a little steep for Disney, which paid $500 million for Maker Studios last month. Fortune reports that talks with BuzzFeed were winding down just as talks with Maker Studios were heating up.
While BuzzFeed already has more traffic than The Huffington Post did when it sold for $US315 million or Bleacher Report when it sold for $US200 million, it doesn’t quite strategically fit within Disney, according to Fortune’s sources:
Disney focuses on acquiring and aggregating intellectual property, which it can monetise through many channels like licensing, merchandising, TV, games, animation and theme parks. BuzzFeed’s content ranges from entertainment-style lists to serious reporting, having recently hired Pulitzer-prize winning journalists Mark Schoofs and Chris Hambly.
Both BuzzFeed and Disney declined to comment on Fortune’s story, but a BuzzFeed spokesperson reportedly said that it’s not in talks with any companies and “is focused on becoming a big, independent company.”