An investment firm is potentially looking to increase Black ownership in the media industry.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Group Black, a collective of Black-owned media and diverse creators, has reportedly placed a $400 million bid to acquire Vice Media.
Group Black was co-founded by Richelieu Dennis, Travis Montaque, and Bonin Bough.
The outlet notes that the company has shown interest in purchasing Vice for several months.
The potential acquisition comes after the digital media company restarted its sale process at a lower price tag, CNBC reports. While Vice Media was once valued at $5.7 billion in 2017, now, CNBC details that it would likely fetch a price lower than $1 billion. Prior to restarting the sale, Vice was seeking a purchase within the $1-billion-to-$1.5-billion range.
Group Black’s mission is to “dramatically transform the face of media ownership and investment,” according to its website. What’s more, the media collective is comprised of over 150 Black-owned media brands including ESSENCE, Afropunk, PlayersTV, and more.
As previously reported by AfroTech, Group Black launched in June 2021 and kicked off with an inaugural $75 million target media investment from GroupM, which was part of its larger initiative to deploy nearly $500 million in Black-owned media by the end of 2022.
In the same year, Group Black announced it was looking to buy Vice Media, BDG, or Vox Media.
“We hired J.P. Morgan [Chase] and Lazard to help us in our efforts a couple months ago. We’re actively out in market looking at acquisitions to make,” Group Black co-founder and CEO Travis Montaque told the Digiday Podcast.
“We are actively in market looking at scaled assets to acquire for the purpose of creating larger infrastructure for our collective to be able to grow their business. That growth means scaled distribution and other assets that will enable us to accelerate the reach and scale of Black-owned media overall,” Montaque added.
In addition to looking to acquire Vice, Group Black has its eyes on BET Media Group.
The New York Times reports that the company emerged as a potential suitor for the media group. Tyler Perry and Diddy are also among the potential buyers.