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Walt Disney to invest US$200m in Vice Media

Founder, CEO VICE Shane Smith.

[NEW YORK] Walt Disney Co will invest US$200 million in edgy video maker Vice Media, known for its coverage of current affairs for the Millennial generation, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Financial Times had reported the news earlier on Tuesday.

Separately, Vice said it would take over H2, a spinoff from the History channel that is owned by A&E Networks - a joint venture of Disney, Hearst Corp and NBC Universal Inc.

A&E had invested US$250 million for a 10 per cent stake in Vice last year, then valuing the company at US$2.5 billion.

The new channel - working title "Viceland" - will be launched early next year with prime-time shows including "Gaycation", with Ellen Page and Ian Daniel, "Huang's World", Noisey, and Weediquette, the companies said in a statement.

Started in 1994 as a Montreal punk magazine, Vice has grown into a global multimedia brand with print, television and online content as well as a record label and book publishing.

Vice, which won an Emmy award last year, has carved a niche for itself at a time when TV networks have struggled with bringing news to many young consumers who access their news through digital and social media channels.