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Vice Media Receives $450 Million Boost From TPG

Variety logo Variety 6/19/2017 Stewart Clarke
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Vice Media has received a $450 million investment from private equity firm TPG and will use the money to bolster its international presence and launch Vice Studios.

TPG’s infusion will make Vice worth an estimated $5.7 billion, founder and CEO Shane Smith told CNBC. The youth brand has been moving into TV in the U.S. 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.

Smith said in a statement: “Media is probably at its most dynamic, most evolutionary time in its history. With Facebook and Google taking an ever-growing piece of the online advertising pie, looming ‘skinny bundles’ and OTT/DTC offerings exploding the media status quo – networks have to be nimble, smart and fast moving.”

TPG, the majority owner of talent agency CAA and an investor in STX Entertainment, was rumored last month to be in talks with Vice about a $500-million infusion, representing a 10% stake. The hipster brand also counts Disney as a shareholder, which has made two separate investments in the company.

Vice’s push into original programming has seen it launch “Vice on HBO,” a factual series, on HBO, as well as numerous shows on its own cable network, Viceland, which is a joint venture with A&E in the U.S. It has also started to roll out internationally, with Sky in the U.K. and Canal Plus in France.

Smith added: “This will allow us to build up the largest millennial video library in the world – enabling Vice to widen our offering to include news, food, music, fashion, art, travel, gaming, lifestyle, scripted and feature films. Building out this wide-ranging and rich library of gold-standard content will be an essential component of our future direct-to-consumer tech stacks and our innovations in transactional relationships – all of which represent the future of media.”

Vice’s new shows for 2017 include James Van Der Beek comedy “What Would Diplo Do?,” Alex Gibney basketball documentary “The Last Shot,” and “Jungletown,” from Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning Ondi Timoner, which follows the filmmaker as she embeds herself with a group trying to create a sustainable town in the Panamanian jungle.

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