By Sahil Patel
The same day Time Warner officially divested itself of one multi-platform media brand, it may be close to acquiring another.
According to a report from Sky News, Time Warner is deep in negotiations to buy a significant stake in Vice Media. If it goes through, the deal could value Vice at $2.2 billion.
Vice is currently valued at $1.4 billion, thanks in large part to the $70 million 21st Century Fox (back then: News Corp) gave the company last summer for a 5% stake.
Today’s report suggests that there are several different deal structures at play between Time Warner and Vice. One model would involve merging its HLN cable property with Vice in exchange for roughly half of what the resulting company would be.
Details are at an advanced stage, according to Sky News, but don’t necessarily hold your breath as the talks could still fall apart.
The story is well-trodden by now, but Vice was founded in the mid-1990s as a music magazine for Canadians. According to Sky, the original magazine now accounts for less than 5% of the company’s revenues, which hit $175 million in 2012.
Shifting more to video, the company now stands as a media powerhouse, especially for those interested in reaching younger audiences. Vice’s business now include category-based content brands like Vice News, Munchies, Noisey, and the soon-to-launch Vice Sports, in addition to an in-house ad agency, a record label, and a hit TV show on HBO.
We’ve reached out to Time Warner and Vice Media for comment and will update accordingly.