Vice Media sells 5% stake to Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox
The company have signed a $70m deal with 21st Century Fox
Saturday 17 August 2013
Vice Media, the group behind the iconic and often controversial magazine Vice, has signed a $70m deal with 21st Century Fox.
21st Century Fox will now own a five per cent stake in Vice Media.
Vice has grown exponentially from its humble beginnings as a free underground music handout to a global media and publishing group dedicated to art, technology, fashion, music and world news.
The magazine's straight-talking discussions on youth sub-culture and gonzo reporting techniques have established a cult following both in print editions and online.
“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.
Some of Vice Media's most famous moments have included accompanying basketball player Dennis Rodman to North Korea as he attended a game with Kim Jung-un, the country's president.
Vice's growth occurred steadily over five years and 2012 closed with revenues of approximately $175m,according to the FT.
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch had already expressed his interest in the company when he took to Twitter to ask who had heard of the "wild, interesting effort to interest millenials who don't read or watch established media", referring to Vice.
Mr Murdoch divided New Corporation's assets in 2012 and renamed his media orientated division 21st Century Fox.
Although minority shareholders hold 25 per cent of Vice, it's founders will continue to have majority control over the board.
Vice Media began as an off-beat, north American magazine in 1994, before expanding to include a film production company, a record label and a YouTube channel boasting nearly 3 million subscribers. Their magazine is available free of charge across 28 countries.
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