21st Century Fox has bought a 5% stake in Vice Media for a reported US$70 million.
The deal, which is expected to be announced today (August 19) after the Financial Times reported on it over the weekend, was signed before the media giant split from parent company News Corp earlier this summer. It gives the Brooklyn-based digital media, TV and publishing company a value of $1.4 billion.
Fox joins Vice’s ad holding company WPP, merchant bank Raine, comedian Bill Maher and former Viacom CEO Tom Freston, who advised on the deal, as minority shareholders. The company, which started as a magazine in 1994, will use the money to expand overseas, with a focus on India and Europe.
Vice’s senior management still controls 75% of Vice, according to the FT. “The idea was to raise capital to help fund a lot of the initiatives we want to undertake more aggressively outside the U.S. – but also have some strategic alliances with a company that has robust distribution,” Freston told the FT.
Vice made headlines earlier this year when producers arranged a basketball game in for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un featuring NBA player Dennis Rodman (pictured) for a segment on its HBO series. More recently, the company hired former Nutopia exec Laura Franses to serve as UK MD.