Vice Media nears a $400 million deal to sell itself out of bankruptcy, report
On Tuesday, we wrote about Vice Media after multiple reports that the media outlet was preparing to file for bankruptcy, two weeks after Buzzfeed News shuttered. Now, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Friday that Vice Media is close to reaching a deal for $400 million to sell itself to top lenders through a reorganization that would wipe out other investors. Once valued at $5.7 billion in 2017, the $400 million sale deal represents a big loss to the current investors.
The Journal reported that Vice Media is in talks to sell itself to Fortress Investment and Soros Fund Management. The sources familiar with the ongoing talks told The Journal that the proposed reorganization would result in the majority of Vice stockholders, including backers like private-equity firm TPG Group, Sixth Street Partners, and media mogul James Murdoch, losing their investments.
Vice is the latest in a series of US media outlets fighting for survival. The news of potential Vice bankruptcy comes just days after Buzzfeed News closed its doors and a few weeks after NPR announced it was laying off 10% of its workforce. Other major media outlets including ESPN, ABC, NewsCorp, and Vox Media have all announced job cuts this year as well.
Meanwhile, five companies have expressed interest in acquiring Vice in the event of its bankruptcy, the report stated. However, individuals familiar with the situation claim that the probability of Vice being acquired by another company is low.
Late last month, BuzzFeed News, a news outlet that aimed to revolutionize how people get news on the Internet, announced it was shutting down after 12 years of online, marking the end of an era.
Vice News was first launched in 2013 by Vice Media, LLC, an American-Canadian media company that produces content focused on youth culture, music, fashion, and more. Vice News initially started as a YouTube channel and expanded to its own website, producing video content covering global news, politics, and other current events.
Since its launch, Vice News quickly gained a reputation for its immersive, on-the-ground reporting style and has covered stories from conflict zones and crisis situations around the world. The channel has also won numerous awards for its journalism, including Emmy Awards, Webby Awards, and Overseas Press Club Awards.