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Time Warner Said to End Talks to Acquire Vice Media Stake

Time Warner Inc. has called off talks to purchase a stake in Vice Media Inc., the startup that combines punk culture with online journalism, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

Time Warner is walking away from the deal because the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement on valuation, said the person, who asked not to be named because the negotiations were private.

The collapse in talks comes less than a month after Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc. withdrew a $75 billion offer to buy New York-based Time Warner. Fox bought a 5 percent stake in Vice last year for $70 million, valuing the whole company at $1.4 billion. Vice was using that stake purchase as a benchmark for determining the startup’s valuation in a deal with Time Warner, the person said.

The discussions between Time Warner and Vice had valued the closely held company at as much as $2 billion, people familiar with the matter said in June. As part of the deal, Time Warner was considering handing over HLN, its sister news network to CNN, the people said at the time.

The New York Times reported earlier that the talks had broken down. Representatives for Vice didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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