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Buzzfeed set to draw up its biggest list yet

Buzzfeed is preparing for a stock market flotation next year, it was reported today.

The media company that brought listicles to the masses is “quietly making preparations” to go public, said Axios, a digital news publisher with several personal and financial links to Buzzfeed.

Buzzfeed, which spreads its content via social media, makes money from advertising, mostly from videos that can cost brands hundreds of thousands of pounds. It has not yet published detailed information of its finances.

It gained fame for its listicles such as “10 Important Life Lessons You Can Learn From Cats” but has since expanded into digital news, videos and food blogging.

Jonah Peretti, Buzzfeed’s founder, said in 2015 that it expected to launch an initial public offering but did not say when. Buzzfeed staff have been informed at recent meetings that an IPO is getting nearer, it is understood.

Axios was set up by Mike Allen, co-founder of the US news publisher Politico. Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed, was a senior writer at Politico when Mr Allen worked there.

NBC, the US broadcaster, has invested in Axios and Buzzfeed, as has Lerer Hippeau, the venture capital fund. Ken Lerer, one of the fund’s founders, set up The Huffington Post in 2005 with Mr Peretti and Arianna Huffington. Mr Peretti left The Huffington Post in 2011 when AOL bought it for $315 million.

Buzzfeed rejected a takeover bid from Disney in 2014 and has rebuffed several other offers.