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Vice Raises $500 Million From Technology Crossover, A+E

Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Vice Media Inc., the online news outlet that combs the world’s trouble spots for stories, raised $500 million to expand its operations.

Technology Crossover Ventures and A+E Networks each invested $250 million for 10 percent stakes in Brooklyn-based Vice, which operates websites and produces a show for HBO, according to an e-mailed statement today. Vice, which will remain independent, is valued at more than $2.5 billion, the company said.

Founded as a subversive magazine in Montreal 20 years ago, Vice has diversified as it has grown, deriving most of its revenue from online video. The company has allied itself with prominent companies in entertainment and technology that can help it reach new audiences.

“These new partnerships position us at the forefront of the coming convergence of media and technology, while preserving and protecting our independence,” Chief Executive Officer Shane Smith said in the statement. “High-quality content and innovative tech platforms will drive Vice through this next period of growth.”

Vice operates video channels devoted to news, food and music, as well as a YouTube channel with more than 800,000 subscribers. The company last month won an Emmy for its news magazine on Time Warner Inc.’s HBO.

North Korea

Working with Technology Crossover, an investor in Facebook Inc. and Netflix Inc., Vice will develop technology products for users watching its online programs on social media and mobile devices.

A+E Networks, co-owned by Walt Disney Co. and Hearst Corp., operates cable channels including History, A&E and Lifetime. Vice will use money from A+E to develop new programming formats, and may produce shows for some of the company’s cable channels.

Vice has gained exposure and plaudits for controversial stories such as a recent series on the Islamic State in the Middle East and a piece on North Korea for HBO.

“A+E Networks continually seeks to create new and exciting content that will attract audiences today, tomorrow and beyond,” said A+E Networks CEO Nancy Dubuc in the statement. By investing in Vice, we are thrilled about our potential to further deliver content that meets the demands of the latest consumption trends.’’

Vice sold a 5 percent stake to 21st Century Fox Inc. last year, valuing the company at $1.4 billion. It discussed selling a much larger piece of the company to Time Warner this year, but those conversations have ended.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at lshaw31@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net Frank Longid

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