August 19, 2013 11.14 Europe/London By Robert Briel
vice-logo21st Century Fox has taken a 5% stake in Vice Media in a deal that values the company at $1.4bn (EUR1.2bn).
“I want us to be the next MTV, ESPN and CNN rolled into one – and everyone always rolls their eyes,” Shane Smith, Vice’s co-founder and chief executive told the Financial Times.
“The reality is that MTV was bought by Viacom and CNN went to Time Warner. We have set ourselves up to build a global platform but we have maintained control,” he added.
Vice started out as a print publication in 1994, but most of its recent success has been online, especially in video including a show on HBO as well as other broadcasters, such as Germany’s ZDF. The company generated revenue of about $175m in 2012 with around 80% coming from its digital activities.
Minority shareholders own 25% of Vice Media, including the advertising giant WPP, The Raine Group, former Viacom CEO Tom Freston, and comedian Bill Maher, with the founders and senior management holding on to the rest.