Sundial Media Group Extends Reach, Diversifies the Media Landscape

The media division of Sundial Group closes its acquisition of Refinery29 from Vice Media Group
Sundial Media

Today, Sundial Media Group LLC (SMG), a division of The Sundial Group of Companies led by Executive Chair Richelieu Dennis, announces the acquisition of Refinery29, a creative digital media and entertainment platform with a multigenerational focus on women. The acquisition expands the reach of Sundial’s media properties, and further affirms their commitment to empowering authentic voices of creators and communities shaping culture in the New General Market.

SMG is a vertically integrated media, technology and experiential company that includes Essence VenturesESSENCE including Girls United and Naturally Curly; AFROPUNK; Beautycon; Essence Studios; ESSENCE Festival of Culture; and SOKO MRKT; and works in partnership with the Global Black Economic Forum (GBEF), including Academy For Advancing Excellence, and with the New Voices Foundation. With the acquisition of Refinery29, SMG extends its mission of creating opportunities, products and services that connect communities through content, culture and commerce.

“We’re very excited about the expansive ecosystem we’re building at Sundial Media Group. Refinery29 is an incredible brand with a phenomenal team that will play an important role in reimagining the ways that media serves the need for connection, culture and commerce in these distinct, but complementary communities of the New General Market,” said Dennis.

Refinery29 will operate as a standalone business within Sundial Media Group. Coinciding with the acquisition, Cory Haik has been named CEO of Refinery29. Haik is a multiple Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and media executive, who was most formerly the Chief Operating Officer of Vice, News and Entertainment divisions.

“We are thrilled to join the Sundial Media Group suite of brands, deepen our meaningful connection with audiences, and strengthen our collective goal: to be an inclusive platform for all women,” said Haik. “From our flagship Refinery property to Somos and Unbothered, this is a dynamic, IP-lead media company and I look forward to leading this impressive business to continued growth.”

With a 19-year storied history, Refinery29’s brand heritage has been built on the reflection of its audience, their stories and the authentic curation of retail products. The company has evolved to become an authority in lifestyle journalism, now boasting a network of niches across its insights agency, publishing strategy group, talent network, e-commerce platform, and events business and reaching over 90 million people globally. Refinery29 is a profitable and growing business.

“Welcoming R29 into the SMG ecosystem exemplifies the African Proverb that says, ‘if you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together,’” said Essence Ventures President and CEO, Caroline Wanga. “This partnership is rooted in purpose, and ensures continuity in the services we offer to all those that authentically coexist at the intersection of community and culture.”

Dennis continues to say, “We’ve been admiring the work of this R29 team for a while, and we’re excited to see what they will now do within SMG, and with Cory officially in the CEO seat.”

With renowned brands such as ESSENCE and Girls United in its diverse portfolio, this strategic acquisition reflects SMG’s commitment to amplifying a full spectrum of voices and perspectives within the multifaceted media landscape. The addition of Refinery29 further solidifies SMG’s influence in shaping the narrative of contemporary media.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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