Vinyl Group Acquires The Brag Media With Investment From Richard White
Vinyl Group has acquired The Brag Media, following an $11M investment in Vinyl Group from Richard White.
Announced today, Vinyl Group, Australia’s only ASX-listed music company, has entered into an agreement to fully acquire Australia’s largest youth publisher including its premium network of mastheads and events such as Rolling Stone AU/NZ and Variety Australia & New Zealand.
A second round of investment by WiseTech Global CEO & Founder Richard White by way of an $11 million placement and debt facility has also been announced today.
The Brag Media publishes owned outlets TheBrag.com, The Music Network and Tone Deaf, and Penske Media Corporation (PMC) titles Rolling Stone and Variety in Australia and New Zealand. It also exclusively represents local digital audiences for over a dozen other titles including HypeBeast, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Music Feeds, ComingSoon, Rotten Tomatoes, Game Revolution and IndieWire.
The Brag Media network of premium brands reaches about ten million users per month in the region with over 40 million monthly page views, cementing its position as Australia’s largest youth publisher.
Vinyl Group will pay $8 million in cash to acquire 100% of The Brag Media and its subsidiaries, with a further $2 million payable in cash or stock based on financial performance.
Unaudited Financial Year 2023 results highlight The Brag Media generated $8.39 million in revenues including $334,824 in net profit. The Brag Media has seen average revenue growth of 125% over the past two Financial Years. The indicative combined Vinyl Group revenue as at June 30, 2023, would have been $9 million.
Vinyl Group’s purchase will be funded with a substantial new $11 million placement and debt facility from Vinyl Group investor Richard White, created to fuel the company’s future growth. The investment will be made from his RealWise Group Holdings P/L and follows his previously announced investment in June 2023.
As part of the deal, The Brag Media CEO Luke Girgis has entered into a full-time employment agreement with the company, as Publisher and Managing Director of The Brag Media.
Vinyl Group CEO, Josh Simons, said: “Vinyl Group’s suite of products work together to empower participants of the music ecosystem and reach all corners of the creator economy, and we can’t wait to start working with the iconic mastheads that Luke and The Brag Media have successfully developed in Australia.
“We’ve identified several impactful synergies between the two businesses that will deliver immediate cost efficiencies and revenue, including streamlining Vampr’s in-app ads business and leveraging The Brag Media’s impressive audience reach to bolster Jaxsta, Vinyl.com and Vampr in the market.”
Girgis added: “The next phase in the evolution of The Brag Media will take place under the umbrella of Australia’s only ASX-listed music business, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Right from the earliest discussions we had, it was clear that the Board, Josh and the team shared our vision for the future of the business, and I’m thrilled that they’ve made this commitment with us.
“I’d also like to acknowledge my Co-Founder and Managing Director Sam Benjamin. This business would not have reached the heights that it has without Sam’s investment, support, leadership and mentorship over the past six years.”
White, the CEO and Founder of WiseTech Global, said: “I have watched closely as Josh has built Vinyl Group’s revenue and made substantial business gains since taking my initial investment. I’ve also noted that Luke and his dedicated team at The Brag Media have rapidly grown Brag into one of Australia’s most influential media and creative businesses.
“There’s no doubt that iconic brands like Rolling Stone and Variety make sense and add value to VNL. Combined under the leadership of Josh and Vinyl Group, the consolidated business and team will have a lot more growth levers and options.”
The Brag Media joins Vinyl Group’s existing portfolio of properties that includes music credits business Jaxsta, the leading music industry social-professional network and talent marketplace Vampr, and online record store Vinyl.com.