You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

A+E Networks in Talks to Take 10% Stake of Vice Media

Negotiations with Time Warner fell through over valuation disagreement

UPDATED: Time Warner is no longer in talks to take a stake in Vice Media, which is reportedly negotiating with A+E Networks over a 10% piece of the company.

The New York Times reports the conglom has stepped away from the negotiation table due to a disagreement over the irreverent upstart firm’s valuation. Financial Times has reported that A+E Networks has swooped in at a valuation of $2.5 billion, which would mean the stake would cost $250 million to the conglom, which is co-owned by Walt Disney Co. and Hearst Corp.

In addition, Re/Code reported late Friday that yet another 10% stake would be unloaded to Technology Crossover Ventures, also for $250 million.

FT , which quotes Vice CEO Shane Smith as saying the A+E pact is a “great deal,” suggests Vice will produce programming for the networks under the A+E umbrella, which include A&E, Lifetime and History, and could become a linear channel itself.

A+E hadn’t previously been noted to be a suitor of Vice, which has drawn notice since evolving from a music magazine to a multimedia juggernaut equally adept at critically acclaimed international news as it is branded content that sponsors pay big money to reach young auds.

In June, rumblings surfaced that Time Warner was prepared to plunk down over $1 billion for ownership of half of the company. There was even indications that the conglom was prepared to integrate Vice into HLN, CNN’s sibling news network.

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

This is the second close call on the deal front for Time Warner in as many months given the near-miss acquisition attempt by Fox for all of the conglom.

Vice already has a deal with Time Warner’s HBO for a newsmagazine series.

The pact is just the latest sign of Big Media’s intense interest in investing in or acquiring outright smaller media companies that are reaching viewers around the globe, including Disney-Maker Studios and Discovery-Revision 3. A+E hasn’t participated in the shopping spree until now but the company recently displayed its online savvy in the relaunch of one of its smaller cable nets, FYI, which borrowed heavily from online programming trends, including a TV adaptation of Collective Digital Studios’ “Epic Meal Time.”

Correction: An earlier draft of the story suggested Vice would not take over a linear channel operated by A+E Networks as part of their deal, but that is a possibility.

Popular on Variety

More Digital


    Netflix's Podcast Slate 'Deepens' Space Around Original Content, Programmers Say

    It should come as no surprise that, in its quest to become a full-blown entertainment ecosystem, Netflix has built a roster of podcast programming to complement its scores or original series and films. The programs recruit top talent and hosts to hang out and talk about the streaming giant’s TV and film content. It’s a [...]

  • Netflix-logo-N-icon

    Netflix Is Testing Human-Curated 'Collections'

    Netflix, a company powered by the strategic use of data, relies on artificial intelligence to suggest new content that its streaming customers are likely to be interested in. Now it’s looking to potentially add a human touch: The company has launched a limited-scale test of “Collections,” a new feature that presents groups of movies and [...]

  • wolves in the walls emmy

    Neil Gaiman VR Experience 'Wolves in the Walls' Wins Primetime Emmy

    “Wolves in the Walls,” the virtual reality (VR) experience based on Neil Gaiman’s children’s book by the same name, has been awarded with a Primetime Emmy for outstanding innovation in interactive media. The experience has been produced by San Francisco-based immersive entertainment startup Fable, which puts a big effort on making the viewer a participating [...]

  • The Void San Francisco

    The Void Teams Up With Sony Pictures for New Location-Based VR Experience

    James Murdoch-backed virtual reality (VR) startup The Void has teamed up with Sony Pictures Virtual reality to produce a new location-based VR experience, according to Curtis Hickman, the startup’s chief creative officer. Hickman revealed the partnership in a conversation with Variety this week, during which he also outlined plans to bring more original IP to [...]

  • US President Donald J. Trump speaks

    Apple Stock Down 4.6% After Trump ‘Orders’ Companies to Leave China

    Apple’s share price was down around 4.6% Friday at the close of the market, to $202.64 per share, after President Trump took to Twitter to “order” U.S. companies to leave China. The slide came amid a market-wide sell-off, with the NASDAQ sliding 3%, and the Dow dropping 623 points. Trump’s edict was a response to [...]

  • Former head of CAA China Peter

    Peter Loehr to Spearhead Asia Expansion of Genies Avatar Venture (EXCLUSIVE)

    Peter Loehr, the former head of CAA in China, and seasoned music executive John Possman have been tapped by digital avatar company Genies to lead its expansion into Asia. The company’s proprietary avatar technology allows users to express ideas, thoughts and feelings in a different way from text, audio and video. Within the app and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content