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Vivek Ramaswamy Acquires 7.7% Activist Stake in BuzzFeed

Vivek Ramaswamy, entrepreneur and pro-Trump politician, has acquired a 7.7% stake in BuzzFeed — and indicated he’s staging an activist campaign to shake up the struggling digital media company.

Ramaswamy acquired 2,723,927 shares in BuzzFeed in a series of purchases from March 14 through May 21, according to an SEC filing dated May 21. Shares of BuzzFeed jumped more than 50% in premarket trading on the disclosure.

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According to the filing, Ramaswamy “believes the securities of [BuzzFeed] are undervalued and represent an attractive investment opportunity. The Reporting Person will seek to engage in a dialogue with the Issuer’s Board of Directors (the ‘Board’) and/or management about numerous operational and strategic opportunities to maximize shareholder value, including a shift in the Company’s strategy.”

Reps for BuzzFeed didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ramaswamy — who amassed his wealth in finance and the pharma company he founded, Rovient Sciences — in January dropped out of the 2024 GOP presidential contest and endorsed Donald Trump, saying he would support Trump even if the former president was convicted of felonies.

Ramaswamy, 38, has branded himself “anti-woke” and traded in a number of fringe conspiracy theories. He has called the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol an “inside job” facilitated by federal law enforcement and promoted the racist “replacement theory” that alleges Democrats want to allow immigrants of color to into the U.S. to “replace” white voters.

BuzzFeed, amid its financial woes, earlier this year sold Complex for $108.6 million and laid off 16% of BuzzFeed’s remaining staffers. In April 2023, BuzzFeed announced it was shuttering its unprofitable BuzzFeed News division and laying off about 180 employees across the organization.

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