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Time Warner Eyes Merging HLN With Vice

hlnlogoTime Warner is in talks to acquire about half of Vice Media, according to Sky News. One of the scenarios on the table is for Time Warner to combine HLN with Vice:

One potential structure under discussion would see Time Warner injecting HLN, a news platform owned by its Cable operations, into Vice in return for roughly half the enlarged company.

A deal is expected to value Vice at roughly $2.2bn, about 50% more than last year’s sale of a stake in the mini-conglomerate. Sources said on Monday that talks between Time Warner and Vice were at an advanced stage but that some final details had yet to be agreed. A deal could still fall apart, however, or assume a radically different structure, they added.

Capital New York’s Alex Weprin spells out the effects of a potential deal:

If Vice were to gain control of HLN, the channel would almost certainly have to be unbundled from CNN. That could be messy, as pay-TV providers could seek to cut CNN’s carriage fee, or decline to carry HLN. If HLN were to continue to be bundled with CNN, Vice wouldn’t be able to capitalize on carriage fees, which would still be tied to CNN. All in all it would be a messy transaction.

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