Vice Media is allegedly nearing a deal with the Soros Fund Management, an investment firm founded by billionaire George Soros, and Fortress Investment Group to bail the media company out of bankruptcy, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Vice is trying to avoid filing for Chapter 11, so they would need to sell to the investment groups or obtain another offer. The company was once valued at around $6 billion in 2017 but is now only valued at $400 million.
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The Blaze reported:
Within the last few weeks, the media company has announced that it is shutting down its “Vice News Tonight” program and its global reporting unit, Vice World News.
Vice Media Group also operates the film and television production unit Vice Studios, the television network Vice TV, the creative agency Virtue, and Vice News. Additionally, the media group owns the website Refinery29, i-D magazine, Pulse Films, and a bar in London.
After five years as the Vice’s CEO, Nancy Dubuc left the company in February. She was replaced by co-chief executives Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala.
In a memo to employees last month, Dixon and Lokhandwala stated, “In response to the current market conditions and business realities facing [Vice Media Group] and the broader news and media industry, we are moving forward on some painful but necessary reductions, primarily across our News business.”
“We are transforming Vice News to better withstand market realities and more closely align with how and where we see our audiences engaging with our content most,” they added.
They spent nearly a year struggling to find a buyer, so control of the company will most likely go to Fortress Investment Group, Vice’s biggest senior lender. The sale would completely wipe out Vice’s other shareholders, including the private-equity firm TPG Group, Sixth Street Partners, and James Murdoch.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Fotress plans to keep Vice’s current management, and will find a role for the company’s co-founder, Shane Smith. he is currently Vice’s executive chairman.
It is not clear what role Smith will play if investors move forward with the deal to buy out the company.
Smith was Vice’s CEO before Dubuque, but he stepped away from the position after reports of sexual harassment within the company and allegations that Smith built the media outlet on lies, according to a report from New York Magazine in 2018.
Vice Media, Soros Fund Management, and Fortress did not respond to requests for comment, the New York Post reported.
The New York Post shared:
Two weeks ago, the company said it was closing Vice World News, a global reporting initiative that covered world conflict and human rights abuses — which the news outlet was known for under Smith.
Vice Media Group’s main businesses include the Vice Studios film and TV production unit, the Vice TV television network, Vice News, and the creative agency Virtue. The company also owns the female-focused website Refinery29, London-based Pulse Films, and i-D, a digital and print-style publication covering fashion, culture, and design.