Disney Doubles Stake in Vice Media to $400 Million
Disney now owns about 10 percent of Shane Smith's digital media company.
Disney has doubled its stake in Vice Media to $400 million, or about 10 percent of the company, sources familiar with the company confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. The deal now values Vice above $4 billion.
The investment comes on the heels of the November news that Vice will take over cable channel H2 and re-brand it as Viceland next year. At the time, Disney committed $200 million to Vice.
In addition to gearing up for the launch of Viceland, Vice is also prepping the premiere of its daily news show for HBO and is planning an aggressive expansion in European television in 2016. A source explains that the new investment will go toward Vice's television programming and its multi-platform initiatives internationally.
The edgy, youth-oriented media company in 2014 sold a 10 percent share to A+E Networks, a joint venture of Hearst and Disney, for $250 million, valuing the company at $2.5 billion. That investment paved the way for Vice's forthcoming takeover of H2, the history spinoff from A+E, which has upped its stake in Vice to nearly 15 percent.
Smith co-founded Vice in 1994 in Montreal as an alternative weekly magazine, transforming it over the last 20 years into a multi-media investment darling. Technology Crossover Ventures invested $250 million at the same times as A+E in 2014 and 21st Century Fox took a $70 million, 5 percent stake in the business in 2013.
A representative for Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Financial Times first reported news of the transaction.