Spotify Agrees to Pay Bill Simmons Up to $196 Million to Buy The Ringer

Spotify Agrees to Pay Bill Simmons Up to $196 Million to Buy The Ringer

Spotify will pay Bill Simmons as much as $196 million to acquire The Ringer in a deal that will instantly boost the streaming service's sports and pop culture company, and bring a high-powered name to its roster of podcasting content.


The Stockholm-based company said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that it will pay Simmons between 130 million euros and 180 million euros ($141 million to $195 million), according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The final purchase price will depend on preferred payouts contingent on performance, and that Simmons and other key executives remain with Spotify.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020, when the final price will be determined.

Spotify announced the deal last week amid speculation that it could be valued as much as $250 million. The Los Angeles-based sports and pop culture website's slate of 30 podcasts — including The Bill Simmons Podcast, The Rewatchables, and The Ryan Russillo Podcast — will now be streamed on Spotify. The Luxembourg-based company, which also has a huge presence in L.A., hopes to build out the franchise's content.

"Spotify has the unique ability to truly supercharge both content and creator talent across genres," Simmons said in a statement when the deal was struck. "We spent the last few years building a world-class sports and pop culture multimedia digital company and believe Spotify can take us to another level. We couldn't be more excited to unlock Spotify's power of scale and discovery, introduce The Ringer to a new global audience and build the world's flagship sports audio network."

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Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.

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