ibusinesslines.com August 18, 2017

Vice Media to push global expansion with new funds

20 June 2017, 11:08 | Myron Mathis

Shane Smith Andrew Morales

Shane Smith at the 2016 Edible Schoolyard NYC Spring Benefit

Vice Media announced Monday that it has raised $450 million in investment from private equity firm TPG.

The investment boosts Vice's valuation to some $5.7 billion, according to media reports. The exact terms of Vice's deal with TPG, and what stake it will take in the company, have not been made clear.

The company also produces programming for U.S. premium cablenet HBO and a year ago launched Viceland, a global linear network.

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. He continued that networks must "be nimble, smart and fast-moving".

Vice Studios will produce scripted shows for digital and linear distribution, with the move marking an expansion on the company's current output that focuses largely on documentary, current affairs and unscripted. The youth brand has been moving into TV in the USA and around the world with its Viceland channel, and will use the new funding to create new originals as well as to add to its online video and OTT services. Vice recently acquired a majority stake in United Kingdom -based Pulse Films to help jumpstart its scripted programming efforts.

TPG joins a heady group of minority investors in Vice, including The Walt Disney Co., 21 Century Fox, A+E Networks, advertising giant WPP and Silicon Valley investor Technology Crossover Ventures.

In the past year, the company has launched its TV station, Viceland. One of the projects that drew the most interest from the audience at its May NewFronts presentation in NY was scripted satire What Would Diplo Do? starring James Van Der Beek as the DJ. Disney did not participate in this most recent round, which came exclusively from TPG.

TPG owns other media assets - its portfolio includes talent agency CAA, subscription online music pioneer Spotify, Spanish language broadcaster Univision and film studio STX Entertainment.

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