Vice Media announced on Monday that it had closed a $450 million investment from private equity firm TPG, as the millennial-focused media company seeks to offer more programming content as well as expand into new markets.
TPG’s investment values New York City-based Vice at about $5.7 billion, a source familiar with the matter said. That’s up from late 2015, when it snagged a valuation of around $4 to $4.5 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.
It also places it substantially above competitors like BuzzFeed, which was valued at $1.5 billion (pre-money) in late 2016, according to documents from CB Insights.
Vice, home to channels such as Viceland and Motherboard, said it would use the funding to launch “Vice Studios,” a platform that will offer scripted programming. It will also use the funds to develop over-the-top and direct-to-consumer services.
“We need to build a much bigger library,” Vice CEO Shane Smith told CNBC. “We already do news. We do docs, and we do reality, but we want to do a lot of scripted and feature films.”
Vice, which started in 1994 as a Montreal punk magazine, has evolved into a multimedia company offering print, television, and online content as well as a record label and book publishing. Significantly among new media companies, it also has its own cable channel, Viceland (with A&E Networks), although as FT notes, “ratings have often been too low to register.”
Walt Disney Co, which owns an 18 percent stake in Vice, did not participate in the funding, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. TPG also has investments in music streaming service Spotify AB and home-sharing company Airbnb.
(Reuters reporting by Pushkala A and Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)