Vice founder hints at IPO despite admitting he is not enthusiastic

Adam Hignett
Sir Martin Sorrell’s massive pay packet easily survived a shareholder revolt yesterday
VICE co-founder and chief executive Shane Smith hinted at a possible public offering of the burgeoning media outlet, but said he was personally against the idea.

Smith, who was speaking at the WPP shareholder meeting yesterday, alluded to the possibility of a flotation when asked by Sir Martin Sorrell if Vice was “going to go public?” After eliciting a laugh by suggesting he would first have to “upgrade his wardrobe” Smith outlined three possible scenarios for Vice’s future, including staying independent, selling itself, or going to the market.

After listing the pros and cons of each option he admitted when it came to an IPO: “We would be stupid if we didn’t see what the market would pay.” However, despite being entitled to a huge windfall from a successful float, Smith later said “I don’t want to go public personally,” before conceding he had a responsibility to explore the option.