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Ladbible confirms purchase of rival publisher Unilad out of administration

Viral online news publisher Unilad has been bought by rival Ladbible after it went into administration earlier this month.

A judge ordered Unilad’s owners, Bentley Harrington Ltd, to go into administration on 4 October after being told it owed more than £6m.

After almost two weeks of speculation over Unilad’s future, staff were told this afternoon that it had been bought by Ladbible.

In a statement, Ladbible said: “As of today, Ladbible Group and Unilad Group are now united under the same roof. This transforms the media landscape worldwide.

“Bringing these brands together makes us the largest social video publisher ever, and a youth media brand to be reckoned with, having over 120m followers across our social channels. In August alone, our combined videos were viewed 4.5bn times.

“We believe that the Unilad Group brands complement our existing offering and we can promise our audience more of the stuff they love from all the brands in the new Ladbible Group family.

“As we go to meet our new colleagues in London and Manchester, we want to thank the teams that make the content that so many people know and love.

“They’ve worked incredibly hard throughout considerable media speculation. We look forward to working together.”

According to analysis from social media engagement trackers Newswhip, Unilad was the biggest English-language Facebook publisher ranked by likes, shares and comments last month.

Ladbible came in second place, followed by more traditional news outlets such as Fox News, CNN, the New York Times, the BBC and the Daily Mail.

Ladbible co-founder Arian Kalantari said “no sudden decisions” would be made about the newly expanded business. Both companies have offices in London and Manchester.

Kalantari said: “We thank the teams at Ladbible Group and Unilad Group for continuing to do what they do best – creating compelling content for young people.

“In the coming weeks, we will be working on the strategy for our expanded business – no sudden decisions will be made about the structure.

“We’re ensuring we’ve got the right people in the right places over the next couple of months. It’s a new era with exciting times and opportunities ahead.”

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