Aug 29 A&E Networks is close to taking a 10
percent stake in Vice Media that would value the company at $2.5
billion, a Vice Media spokesman confirmed on Friday.
A&E, which is jointly owned by Walt Disney Co and
media group Hearst Corp, is investing $250 million in Vice
Media, which started as a Canadian magazine and has ballooned
into a multimedia conglomerate known for producing edgy videos
and news reports.
The deal was first reported by the Financial Times.
Vice Media Chief Executive Officer Shane Smith told the FT
that it is a great deal. "It means we can preserve our
independence and it gives us a war chest for another three years
of dramatic growth," he said.
The potential deal comes not long after Time Warner Inc
was reportedly set to invest in Vice with the idea of
combining it with Time Warner's HLN news network. Time Warner's
investment at the time would have valued Vice Media at $2.2
Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc took
a 5 percent stake in Vice last year for $70 million valuing the
company at about $1.4 billion.
Vice has been searching for a cable outlet - though it
currently produces shows for Time Warner's HBO channel - to
distribute its programming and news to a wider audience.
With A&E, Vice will produce programming for the cable
Vice is one of many new media companies that has seen an
influx of dollars lately. Venture capital firm Andreessen
Horowitz invested in August $50 million in BuzzFeed, the social
news and entertainment website known for producing advertising
sponsored content and list-format articles that go viral.
(Reporting by Jennifer Saba in New York; Editing by Lisa