Time Warner and Vice may be close to getting hitched. As first reported by Sky News, the media conglomerate is eyeing a stake in the online magazine and news publication through an investment that could top $1 billion.
Sky News also noted that the terms of the deal could change dramatically before anything gets put on the books. Time Warner would reportedly value Vice in the vicinity of $2.2 billion and would then purchase around a 50% share of the company.
The deal would potentially provide Vice with a fun new toy: A TV channel. At Digital Content Newfronts, Vice co-founder Shane Smith expressed his plan to spread Vice across new platforms, and while it has made a splash on TV through its show on Time Warner-owned HBO, the proposed deal would give Vice funding and space for additional expansion.
On Time Warner’s side, the deal could allow it to hand off HLN to its new partner. As Peter Lauria explains over at Buzzfeed, HLN has never been a big moneymaker for Time Warner, and Vice would be given the opportunity to spruce the channel up at its own discretion. This would be especially easy to mesh with HLN’s new focus, which includes a lot of shows based around social media and YouTube that will be aimed at the Millennial generation Vice targets.
Both Time Warner and Vice have declined to comment at this time.