CEO Shane Smith won't say whether Vice is planning to go public, but his actions may speak louder than words.
The media company that began as a Canadian punk rock zine made another deal in June buying the online Russian-owned art and fashion publication Garage magazine, further enhancing its content and distribution. Garage joins Vice's 11 other digital sites including Vice.com, the fashion-focused i-D, the women's culture site Broadly, the music zine Noisey and the techie-science magazine Motherboard.
Acquiring Garage fits with Vice's strategy of amassing a stable of edgy, aesthetically compelling websites targeted at specific niches within the larger audience of Millennials. All of New York-based Vice's web sites are also designed to appeal to young people outside the U.S.
Last month, he told the New York Post that he's had talks with the big banks about taking the company public.
On CNBC a few weeks earlier, he expressed a similar confidence.
"[People] want to do deals with us, they want us to bring our content to their countries. So why not do that?," Smith told CNBC last month. The interview came on the heels of the company's announcement that it would take its platforms to India, Africa and Asia. "We are hot right now."
A spokesperson for Vice couldn't be immediately reach for comment.
Which means the company's investors may be looking for an exit strategy, namely an initial public offering. Being a start-up is great but eventually the original backers need to be paid.