Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Time Warner considering $2.2 billion investment in Vice Media

Time Warner, which just shucked its Time Inc. magazine division, is in talks to make a major investment in Vice Media. One way the deal might go is for Time Warner to roll HLN, a cable news platform it owns, into Vice Media, in return for a half-interest in the company. The deal is said to be worth roughly $2.2 billion or about 50% more than Vice Media was worth just a year ago.

Other investors in Vice Media, which started as a music street paper in Montreal in 1994 and went on to become a worldwide power in youth-oriented video and other digital media, include 21st Century Fox, which owns about 5% and Raine, a New York-based merchant bank. The original Vice magazine now accounts for only 5% of the company's revenues. 

According to a story on Sky News (UK), 
Shane Smith, the company's Canadian co-founder and chief executive, has repeatedly referred to Vice as "the Time Warner of the street" but has denied any intention of surrendering outright control of the group. 
Vice operates some of Youtube's most popular channels and has content partnerships with a broad range of digital media providers, including Facebook and Twitter.Its digital channels now include The Creators' Project, Motherboard and Noisey, a music discovery platform. 
"I want us to be the next MTV, ESPN and CNN rolled into one - and everyone always rolls their eyes," Mr Smith told a newspaper last year.

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