A&E Networks is close to taking a 10 per cent stake in Vice Media, that would value the company at US$2.5bn, according to Reuters.
A&E, which is jointly owned by Walt Disney Co and Hearst, is investing $250m 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 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 $2.2bn.
Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. took a five per cent stake in Vice last year for $70m, valuing the company at about $1.4bn.
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 network.