Vice Media files for bankruptcy to allow sale to lenders including Soros and Fortress


Vice Media offices display the Vice logo in Venice, California.

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Once a digital media darling, Vice Media Group filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday after years of financial difficulties.

A consortium of Vice lenders, which includes Fortress Investment, Soros Fund Management and Monroe Capital, is seeking to acquire the company following the filing.

The digital media pioneer, once valued at $5.7 billion and known for sites such as Vice and Motherboard, had restructured and cut jobs in its global news sector in recent months.

The group set to buy the company will provide $225 million in the form of a credit offer for most of Vice Media’s assets, the company announced on Monday, as well as significant liabilities.

Vice is one of many digital media and technology companies forced to restructure this year amid a sluggish economy and weak advertising market. Last month, Buzzfeed shut down its news division and announced major layoffs.

Launched in Canada in 1994 as a fringe magazine, Vice has expanded globally with youth-focused content and a significant social media presence. However, it endured several years of financial difficulties, as tech giants such as Google And Meta sucked up global ad spend.

To facilitate its sale, Vice filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. If the application is approved, other parties may bid for the company. Credit offers allow creditors to exchange secured debt for company assets rather than paying cash.

The consortium’s offer includes a $20 million cash commitment to allow Vice’s operations to continue through the sale process. It is expected to close within two to three months, the company said.

Vice said its various cross-platform media brands, including Vice News, Vice TV, Pulse Films, Virtue, Refinery29 and iD, will continue to operate, while its international entities and Vice TV’s joint venture with A&E are not part of the filing. of chapter 11.

Vice-co-CEOs Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala said in a statement that the sale process “will strengthen the company and position VICE for long-term growth.”

“We will have a new owner, a simplified capital structure and the ability to operate without the legacy liabilities that have weighed on our business,” they added.

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