U.S. firm A+E Networks is close to finalizing a US$250-million deal to buy 10% of Vice Media, a Vice spokesperson has confirmed.
The deal, negotiated by A+E Networks president Nancy Dubuc, will see Vice produce digital and cable programming for the U.S. cable giant, and values Vice at $2.5 billion.
Talking to London’s Financial Times, which first reported the news, Vice CEO Shane Smith said that the acquisition is “a great deal for us.” He told the newspaper: “It means we can preserve our independence and it gives us a war chest for another three years of dramatic growth.”
On Friday morning the New York Times reported that Time Warner ended its negotiations with the youth-focused media company because they were unable to reach an agreement on the valuation. According to the report, that deal was for a majority stake in Vice and would have given Smith and his programming team control of TV network HLN.
The deal also comes almost exactly a year after 21st Century Fox paid $70 million for a 5% stake in Vice, in a transaction which, at the time, valued Vice at around $1.4 billion.
A spokesperson for A+E could not be reached for comment at press time.