(Reuters) – Comcast Corp has cut its stake in BuzzFeed Inc by 8.5% since the end of January, cashing in on a rally in the shares of the digital media company on reports of a plan to partner with OpenAI, the artificial intelligence firm behind ChatGPT.
A regulatory filing by Comcast on Tuesday showed in the past few days it has sold 522,000 more BuzzFeed shares, taking the total shares sold since Jan. 30 to more than 11 million and reducing its stake to 15.5% from 24%.
Shares of BuzzFeed, which were trading at 69 cents at the close of 2022, surged as high as $4.25 in January following media reports of a multi-million dollar content deal with Meta Platforms Inc and plans to use OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
BuzzFeed, which is known for its online quizzes, was hit by a wave of redemptions in 2022 as businesses cut down on ad spending on concerns over a slowing economy.
Retail investor interest in AI-related shares have been rising since last month after OpenAI drew a multi-billion dollar investment from Microsoft Corp.
NBCUniversal, Comcast’s entertainment unit, had invested $200 million in BuzzFeed in 2015 and injected another $200 million in 2016, valuing the company at around $1.7 billion.
As of Tuesday’s close, BuzzFeed had a market value of about $250 million. Its shares were down 0.5% before the opening bell on Wednesday, while Comcast fell 0.7%.
(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru and Lance Tupper in New York; Editing by Arun Koyyur)