Mashable parent company J2 Global is rebranding as Ziff Davis, Inc. in the third quarter, the company announced Tuesday, coinciding with a report from the Wall Street Journal that the company is set to dedicate up to $1 billion for new media deals.
The company, whose media assets include video game site IGN, PCMag and Baby Center, plans to begin trading on Nasdaq next month using ticker symbol ZD following a planned spin-off of its Consensus division with the fax provider eFax.
Vivek Shah, CEO of the still-named J2 Global, told the Journal that the company spent $480 million on mergers and acquisitions last year and $2.5 billion on deals since 2013 — including the purchase of Mashable, online retailer Humble Bundle and coupon company RetailMeNot.
According to the Journal, the $1 billion fund for new acquisitions comes from $350 million in the company’s cash reserves, roughly $400 million of debt capacity, plus an additional $250 million in borrowing capacity from the Consensus spinoff.
In a statement, Shah explained the decision to change the company’s name from J2 to Ziff Davis, the 100-year-old magazine publisher. “Ziff Davis has a long and distinguished history, including a remarkable digital transformation over the past decade,” said Vivek Shah, CEO of the still-named J2 Global, in a statement. “Ziff Davis has always been recognized as an innovative leader in vertical markets, a highly successful acquirer of businesses, and home to some of the industry’s best talent.”
In 2010, Shah led a private-equity buyout of the original Ziff Davis for $25 million and then sold the company to j2 Global two years later for $167 million. The parent company, which Shah has led since 2018, reported $1.49 billion in 2020 revenue, primarily from advertising and subscriptions.