Time Warner keen to pay for share of Vice

VICE Media, the digital group that has grown from small “punk zine” roots to a 35-office global media presence, may sell a large stake in itself to Time Warner.

The two companies are in advanced talks, Sky Media reported, with a possible deal where Time Warner folds its HLN news platform into Vice, in return for half of the bigger company.

A deal is expected to value Vice at roughly $2.2bn, about 50 per cent more than last year’s sale of a small stake in the firm.

Vice, founded by its Canadian chief executive Shane Smith in 1994, began life as a punk magazine but has mushroomed to include an advertising agency, a record label and television show.

The journalism and media company operates websites and YouTube channels, and also produces documentary films, music videos and books. It is known for news events such as taking US basketball star Dennis Rodman to North Korea and on-the-ground reports on topics like the Libyan Revolution.

Smith would be expected to retain control of Vice if the deal went through, according to reports. 21st Century Fox bought a five per cent stake in the firm for $70m last year.

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