Wondery Explores a Potential Sale

Bloomberg reported that Wondery, the company behind Dr. Death and Dirty John, has hired financial advisers to explore a potential sale. According to Bloomberg, Wondery is expected to garner at least $200 million if it pursues a sale and could fetch a much as double that, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Bloomberg article stated that this matter has not yet gone public. Personally, I become a bit skeptical about news that is announced in this way. I’m not doubting that Bloomberg spoke to people that had inside information about the potential sale. My concern is that situations like this one, that are not yet made public, have the potential to fizzle.

Wondery was founded by Hernan Lopez in 2016. Previously, he was the former CEO of Fox International Channels. He left his job running 350 international TV channels for Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, Inc. in order to build a new podcast network. Wondery teamed up with ART19 to help with distribution and infrastructure and dynamic ad insertion across multiple podcasts.

In 2019, Wondery introduced Wondery + a subscription service that auto-renews monthly or annually. Subscribers get behind the scenes content, as well as brand new, unreleased, episodes. According to Bloomberg, Wondery+ enables Wondery to not be entirely dependent on ads for revenue. Wondery launched the Wondery Podcast App this year, which is free to download. Wondery+ is accessible through the Wondery Podcast App.

Bloomberg pointed out that one potential hurdle in a Wondery sale is a “legal issue”. CEO Hernan Lopez was indicted in a FIFA bribery case in April of 2020. Hernan Lopez has pleaded not guilty. Another problem is that, according to Bloomberg, Wondery doesn’t own the intellectual property for some of its shows.