Complex Media is about to blow up. The media company, which was founded in 2002 by Marc Ecko, was acquired today by Verizon and Hearst.
The deal values Complex at $250 million to $300 million, reports the WSJ. Late last year, Hearst took an undisclosed minority stake in Complex, investing $21 million in the company. With today's deal Hearst and Verizon will own Complex in an equal 50-50 joint venture.
Complex has been growing steadily and has been profitable since 2010. Complex.com's traffic was up 11% in March to 54.5 million unique visitors, according to comScore.
Verizon has been working to cultivate millennial audiences as it seeks to build an inventory of digital publications and video sites where it can place targeted ads. It hopes to deliver those ads using ad technology it acquired with the purchase of AOL last year. The deal includes an agreement for Complex to produce exclusive content for Verizon’s mobile video service go90, and AOL will be selling the ad inventory on that service