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October 11, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 8:26am

James Murdoch buys minority stake in Vice Media, reports say

By Charlotte Tobitt

James Murdoch has reportedly bought a minority stake in Vice Media.

Murdoch’s private investment company Lupa Systems, founded earlier this year, has agreed to invest in the millennial publisher, the Financial Times has reported.

Murdoch also sits on the board at Vice, which last week announced it had bought women’s lifestyle website Refinery 29. The publishers were jointly valued at $4bn.

A Vice Media spokesperson declined to comment on Murdoch’s investment.

The FT also reported that Murdoch, the youngest son of media mogul Rupert, is “seeking to distance himself from the conservative outlets” his father controls.

In an interview with the New Yorker last month, he said: “The connective tissue of our society is being manipulated to make us fight with each other, making us the worst versions of ourselves.”

The magazine suggested he might be talking about his father’s company Fox News. Murdoch senior also owns News UK, which publishes The Sun and The Times in the UK.

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But, James added: “There are views I really disagree with on Fox, but I wouldn’t cast it as some reaction to that.”

He resigned from his role as chairman of Sky last year after Comcast took control of the company, buying out Fox’s 39 per cent stake after winning a bidding war for the UK broadcaster.

He gained $2bn after his father sold most of 21st Century Fox to Disney last year for $71bn. His older brother Lachlan stayed on at the company to run Fox News and Fox Sports.

James told the New Yorker he was now trying to decide: “How can you spend your time and your resources trying to be useful?”

Lupa Systems has also invested this year in the Tribeca Film Festival, graphic novel publisher Artists, Writers and Artisans, and virtual reality entertainment company Void.

21st Century Fox paid $70m for a five per cent stake in Vice back in 2013, but Disney wrote the investment off earlier this year.

Picture: Reuters/Neil Hall 

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