UPDATE 1-Britain's The Independent signs deal to take control of BuzzFeed UK

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Updates share movement in paragraph 2; adds details in paragraphs 4 & 5

- British media group The Independent will take control of BuzzFeed's BZFD.O editorial and commercial operations in the UK and Ireland in a multi-year licensing deal, the companies announced on Thursday.

Shares of BuzzFeed, which signed a similar deal with online media publisher Val Morgan Digital in Australia and New Zealand last year, jumped about 10% to 44 cents.

The move comes more than a month after Reuters reported the ongoing talks between the media companies, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Around 30 people will join The Independent from BuzzFeed, as part of the deal, a spokesperson for The Independent said in an emailed response to Reuters.

However, both the companies declined to share the financial terms of the deal.

The deal with The Independent could help BuzzFeed as it grapples with declining advertising and content revenue. Its fourth-quarter revenue declined 26% to $75.7 million.

Moreover, major media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times and the Business Insider, have resorted to job cuts as they navigate an uncertain economy.

"The Independent would put resources behind our brands across editorial and sales and offer a wider mix of products and media bundling," BuzzFeed CFO Matthew Omer had said in a post-earnings call earlier this week, while responding to a query.

BuzzFeed, which shuttered its news unit in April last year, was founded by Jonah Peretti and John Johnson in 2006 and went public through a blank-check merger in 2021.


(Reporting by Jaspreet Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

((Jaspreet.Singh@thomsonreuters.com; https://twitter.com/i_jass;))

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