Media tycoon invests in online firm run by ex-Sun boss’s son

HOLLYWOOD mogul Peter Chernin has ploughed £7.5m into a British digital media business run by the son of the former editor of The Sun, Kelvin MacKenzie.

Ashley MacKenzie’s Base79 runs more than 500 YouTube channels, generating advertising revenue for content providers including the BBC and Ministry of Sound.

Chernin spent 13 years as president and chief operating officer of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation – which owns the Sun – before setting up his own media investment group in 2009. His Chernin Group gained a $100m (£63m) investment from Qatar Holdings last week.

A source close to the deal told City A.M. that the investment, set to be announced today, will give Chernin a 20 per cent stake in Base79. This would value the company at £37.5m. The firm, which has offices in London, New York and Sydney, says it will use the money to expand across Europe.

Kelvin MacKenzie is a large stockholder in the company and acts as chairman. “Base79 has established itself as one of the clear leaders in online video, an exciting space that we believe is positioned to grow faster than any other area of media,” Chernin said.