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Vice Media has raised $450 million from private equity firm TPG.
The deal boosts Vice’s valuation to $5.7 billion, a source familiar with the company confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. The companies did not disclose how big a stake TPG will have in Vice, which already counts Disney and Fox as minority owners.
The youth media company will use the investment to build a global scripted studio, as well as develop new over-the-top streaming video and direct-to-consumer offerings. Vice already distributes much of its video programming via its digital channels, as well as through its one-year-old Viceland cable channel. In addition, Vice produces weekly and daily programming for HBO.
“Media is probably at its most dynamic, most evolutionary time in its history,” Vice CEO Shane Smith said in a statement, noting that Facebook and Google are “taking an ever-growing piece of the online advertising pie.” He continued that networks must “be nimble, smart and fast-moving.”
Vice will use the funding to launch Vice Studios, which will be dedicated to producing scripted programming for digital and linear distribution. The studio will add to Vice’s stable of documentary, news and unscripted programming. Vice recently acquired a majority stake in U.K.-based Pulse Films to help jumpstart its scripted programming efforts.
The company is expected to use scripted programming to help draw larger audiences to Viceland, which has been low-rated since launching last spring with shows such as Weediquette and Ellen Page’s Gaycation. One of the projects that drew the most interest from the audience at its May NewFronts presentation in New York was scripted satire What Would Diplo Do? starring James Van Der Beek as the DJ.
Vice’s last major round of funding came from Disney in late 2015, when the entertainment giant doubled its investment to $400 million. That deal valued Vice at around $4 billion and sparked speculation that Disney could eventually acquire the edgy media company. Smith has been vocal about the potential of such a deal, telling THR last summer that “it makes sense” for both companies. Disney did not participate in this most recent round, which came solely from TPG.
The investment from TPG, which majority owns talent agency CAA and has stakes in tech startups such as Spotify and Airbnb, brings Vice’s total funding to well over $1 billion since 2013.
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