Judge Suspends Closure of BuzzFeed France

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap

A court in Paris has halted the closure of BuzzFeed France and demanded that the company provide more information about the circumstances surrounding its decision, employees said in tweets Wednesday.

The news was reported by BuzzFeed France journalist David Perrotin, who said that the decision had come from the Tribunal de grande instance de Paris, the country’s largest court.

“BuzzFeed will comply with today’s ruling and provide the Court with additional information, which we believe will further validate our decision to reevaluate our current operations in France,” the company said in a statement. “We remain firm in our intent and committed to providing our employees with the support they need throughout this process.”

“In the French law, when people are projected to be fired for economic reasons, the employer has to provide justifications for the employee representative(s) to give an informed opinion on the project,” a BuzzFeed France employee told TheWrap.

“We did not think that the justifications were sufficient, so we asked for more. First directly to the company, then we ask a judge to suspend the process until our demands are met. He agreed with us on this and suspended the process until some documents on BF fr’s financial health are given to us. If and when they are, the process will be restarting from scratch.”

Earlier this month, TheWrap reported that BuzzFeed would close its French operation and shed at least a dozen employees. The news came as a surprise to BuzzFeed staff in the country, with many members of editorial tweeting their dismay with the decision.

“Brutal and completely unexpected decision,” tweeted BuzzFeed France journalist Stephane Jourdain at the time. “It’s very sad.”

In a statement to TheWrap at the time, the company said it was reconsidering its presence in the country.

“We are taking steps to reconsider our operation in France given the uncertain path to growth in the French market,” BuzzFeed said. “We have begun a consultation process with BuzzFeed France and will follow up when we have more information to share.”

In December, BuzzFeed laid off dozens of employees from its office in the United Kingdom, which had been plagued by faltering traffic and budget woes. Talk of an IPO this year largely tapered off as well after the company fell more than $70 million short of a $350 million revenue target for 2017.

Growth has, however, been stronger in recent months.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Dear David': That Buzzfeed Ghost Story We Said Should Be a Movie Is Gonna Be a Movie (Podcast)

BuzzFeed to Lay Off 20, Hire 45 in Company Reorganization

BuzzFeed France to Shut Down, Company Cuts at Least 12 Jobs

'Dear David': 'It' Producer, BuzzFeed to Develop Horror Film Based on Viral Ghost Story (Exclusive)