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We got a tip about this two weeks ago, but could not confirm it out of disbelief: UGO has been around for so long, and has been on the block for so long that everyone looked at it and then passed. And then, of all the companies, Hearst comes in and buys it. UGO.com, the NYC-based online entertainment site aimed at young men, has been bought by Hearst, and estimates of the price range between $100 million (Forbes.com) and our own unconfirmed sources ($150 million). UGO was founded in 1997, and among the last independent survivors out of Silicon Alley. It raised $82 million though its lifetime, and in the end had to do a cram-down round with LA-based GRP Partners.
The company has 82 employees and brings in some $30 million in revenue and an estimated $6 million in EBITDA, says the Forbes story. For Hearst, which exited out of iVillage two years ago, recently signed a deal with Glam Media to do cross promotion and syndication across both networks. Late last year it also bought teen and youth focused social networking company eCrush.
UGO will be managed under Hearst Interactive Media unit, the first time the unit has had an operational role….the unit, which mainly invests in startups (Sling Media, Brightcove and others) plans to do more acquisitions, according to this Reuters story.