Vice Media Group has struck a deal today (Oct. 2) to purchase digital media company Refinery29 months after speculation first emerged that the two brands were in talks to merge.
The deal, signed by Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc and Refinery29 co-CEOs Justin Stefano and Philippe von Borries, cements the new operation as one of the world’s largest digital media businesses.
Refinery29, a digital mediaco catering to women, will remain a distinct brand within the Vice Media Group portfolio, bolstering the millennial-focused brand’s content and diversifying its audiences.
The merger will allow both media companies to reach “male and female audiences and consumers equally,” creating “a total youth media audience with growing attention towards this generation’s non-binary audience,” according to Vice Media.
As part of the acquisition, content production across all platforms is expected to grow by 20%.
As Refinery29 has ramped up its global expansion, it has also moved further into unscripted and scripted content. Following the acquisition, it will continue to create programming across a range of verticals and produce a slate of premium original film and TV projects, including a short-film series titled Shatterbox Anthology, which is focused on increasing opportunities for women in film.
The company’s originals production capabilities and pipeline of projects will add to Vice’s Studio business with original content, talent and IP.
“This is an expansive moment for independent media,” Dubuc said in a statement. “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. We will not allow a rapidly consolidating media ecosystem to constrict young people’s choices or their ability to freely express themselves about the things they care about most. At Vice and Refinery29, the megaphone is theirs to use and the platforms are theirs to build with us.”
“Over the past 15 years, we have been at the forefront of redefining media, achieving great scale in our digital business while successfully diversifying from live events to originals,” Refinery29′s co-CEOs said in a statement. “This transformational partnership will allow our mission and business to flourish further.”
The deal also brings Amy Emmerich, Refinery29′s president for North America and previous chief content officer, back into the Vice Media fold, where she had served as a VP of production prior to joining Refinery29.