Time Warner Eyes Huge Stake in Provocative Vice Media
A file photograph of Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes.Reuters

Time Warner, the world's third-largest media conglomerate behind Walt Disney and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, is reportedly in advanced negotiations to acquire a sizeable stake in digital media firm Vice Media.

A deal could value Vice, founded in 1994 as a print magazine in Montreal, Canada, at about $2.2bn (£1.3bn, €1.6bn), Sky News reported.

Vice's minority shareholders include advertising giant WPP and 21st Century Fox, which holds a 5% stake in Vice. 21st Century bought the stake in 2013 for $70m, in a deal that valued Vice Media at $1.4bn.

Time Warner's stock finished 2.94% lower in New York on 9 June.

Vice makes a documentary show for Time Warner's HBO network and runs digital channels such as The Creators' Project, Motherboard and Noisey, a music discovery platform.

The news of the negotiations comes just hours after Time Warner spun off Time Inc, the magazine division that publishes over 90 titles including business magazine Fortune, Sports Illustrated and the namesake Time magazine.

Time Inc's shares made their debut on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on 9 June.

In February, Time Warner Cable agreed to sell itself to US competitor Comcast for $45.2bn.

Vice Media' revenues hit $175m in 2012, with the namesake Vice magazine accounting for less than 5% of the firm's revenues -- video content dominates its business model.