Vice Media secures $500m investment for expansion

Shane Smith in Libya Image copyright Vice
Image caption Vice founder Shane Smith, here in Libya, still reports for Vice from around the world

Vice Media has secured a further $500m (£304m) in financing in a deal that values the youth-focused multimedia news and arts group at $2.5bn.

US firms Technology Crossover Ventures and cable broadcaster A+E Networks will each inject $250m into the business.

New York-based Vice's output includes a digital magazine and film production, while its news channel on YouTube is hugely popular among young people.

Other investors include Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox.

Vice said in a statement that the new money will be used in part to fund "thousands of hours" of new video content for online, mobile and TV.

Vice was keen to stress that the founders remain in control of Vice and the new and past funding will not alter its independence.

Shane Smith, the firm's chief executive, said: "We believe that these new partnerships position us at the forefront of the coming convergence of media and technology, while preserving and protecting our independence."

He added, possibly tongue-in-cheek: "High-quality content and innovative tech platforms will drive Vice through this next period of growth on our relentless quest for total media domination."

Vice's origins date from 1994 when Mr Smith, a 44-year-old Canadian, co-founded a magazine in Montreal.

The business now claims to reach more than 150 million people in 36 countries across all its platforms.

The company won an Emmy award for its news magazine series for the HBO network, and a Sundance award for its film Fishing Without Nets.

After Mr Smith secured the investment from Mr Murdoch, in return for a 5% stake, the two men toasted the deal by going for a beer in a Brooklyn bar.