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Time Warner in Talks to Take Stake in Vice Media

Deal would value Vice at around $2.2 billion, according to Sky News report

Time Warner is in advanced negotiations with digital media company Vice Media on a deal under which the media conglom would acquire roughly half of Vice for about $1.1 billion, according to a report by Sky News.

Time Warner and Vice reps declined to comment.

Last August, 21st Century Fox invested $70 million in Vice, giving Fox a 5% ownership stake and valuing Vice at $1.4 billion.

Time Warner’s talks with Vice about an investment would value New York-based Vice at about $2.2 billion, Sky News reported. In one of the scenarios under discussion, Time Warner would combine its cable-news network HLN with Vice, according to the report.

SEE ALSO: Vice to Launch Digital Sports Channel, Highlights 4 New Original Shows

A deal between Time Warner and Vice could still fall apart or take on a different structure, according to the Sky News report.

Vice already has a deal with Time Warner’s HBO for a newsmagazine series. Last month, the premium cabler announced that the series had been renewed for two more seasons, with 14 episodes each slated to air in 2015 and 2016 on HBO, representing the third and fourth seasons.

Meanwhile, Time Warner recently evaluated buying YouTube multichannel network Fullscreen, but decided to pass on acquiring the company because the asking price was too high, according to a source familiar with the talks.

Major media companies have taken a strong interest in Internet-video players of late. In the biggest deal to date, Disney closed its acquisition of Maker Studios last month with the Mouse House paying at least $500 million for the MCN.

Founded as a print magazine in 1994 in Montreal, Vice is now based in Brooklyn, N.Y. The next-generation journalism and media company operates websites and video channels on YouTube and its own sites, and also produces documentary films, musicvideos and books.

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