A+E Networks to Purchase Minority Stake of Vice Media for $250 Million

Networks to Purchase Minority Stake

A deal is about to take place between A+E Networks and Vice Media Inc. The former will buy the 10% of the latter’s stake for a sum of $250 million. People with knowledge of this matter said the acquisition would value Vice Media at $2.5 billion.

A+E Networks is a TV programming company. It is owned by Walt Disney Co and Hearst Corp. The acquisition is not yet formally announced. The announcement might take place next week. The news is based on insider reports. The insiders gave the information on the condition of anonymity because they didn’t have the authorization to speak anything publicly.

Interestingly, Vice Media was earlier in a negotiation with Time Warner. It didn’t realize and the relation between two parties went sour. Vice Media reportedly wanted more money than Time Warner was ready to pay. After hot water was poured on Time Warner and Vice Media negotiation, Time’s rival A+E Networks stepped in and offered Vice $250 million, which Vice reportedly has agreed to accept.

Vice is a youth-oriented media group. In 2013, 21st Century Fox invested $70 million in Vice. Fox bought 5% of the stake and Vice was valued at $1.4 billion. The opportunities that A+E Networks could explore from this acquisition are pretty much endless. The programming needs of A+E Networks could be met by Vice Media. Besides Vice Media needs money to gather news from far-fetched areas and on diverse domains.

Recently Vice Media has made a series on the terrorist organization called ISIS in Iraq and Syria and received from other media outlets. Some of the popular shows hosted by Vice Media are ‘Pawn Stars’ and ‘Ice Road Truckers’. The shows are cast on History Channel. The shows are viewed mostly by older audiences. Since Vice Media’s subscribers are youngsters, A+E Networks can penetrate into a new demographic.

Vice Media founded by Shane Smith 20 years ago. Smith is currently the CEO. It has been a long time since he wanted Vice to compete with television channels. The media group runs a magazine, a website and a film production studio.

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