Just days after it emerged that New York Magazine is joining the Vox family, Refinery29 also revealed that it has a new owner — and it’s one more known for its testosterone-fueled past than female-friendly present.
New York-based Vice Media Group has acquired the digital media company for Millennial women, founded in 2005 by husband-and-wife team Philippe von Borries and Piera Gelardi, along with Christene Barberich and Justin Stefano.
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The purchase price was not revealed, but the platform, which focuses on beauty, fashion, entertainment, news and lifestyle trends from a female perspective, was previously valued at around $500 million.
The deal comes at a time when both organizations are eager to build scale and, according to Nancy Dubuc, chief executive officer of Vice, Refinery29 will help bolster its digital business, e-commerce and burgeoning creative agency divisions.
“Vice Media Group and Refinery29, two of the strongest independent voices in the industry, will continue to build a scaled global and diversified media company,” she said.
Von Borries and Stefano, co-ceo’s at Refinery29, added: “This transformational partnership will allow our mission and business to flourish further. We are proud to partner with Nancy and Vice Media Group, and we are confident that together we will be able to expand our vital role in shaping culture and positively impacting the world for young people everywhere.”
How the two corporate cultures blend will be key. Vice has generated numerous headlines in the past for its aggressive company culture, fueled by the antics of founder Shane Smith, who was renowned for his alcohol-fueled events. Numerous allegations of sexual harassment at the company have been reported, while Smith eventually was pushed out as ceo last year and succeeded by Dubuc. He remains executive chairman.
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