Vice Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to facilitate a sale of the company and safeguard its future, according to court documents and a statement from the media group. The company, which was valued at US$5.7 billion (£4.5 billion) in 2017, could be taken over for US$225 million.
Vice Media, which publishes news, technology and lifestyle websites such as Vice, Motherboard and Refinery29, made the filing in the Southern District of New York. The filing stated that the company had assets and liabilities worth between US$500 million and US$1 billion.
A group of creditors, which includes Fortress Investment Group, Soros Fund Management and Monroe Capital, had made a conditional bid for “substantially all of the company’s assets,” Vice said. The lenders had agreed to provide approximately US$225 million, and would assume “significant liabilities” upon closing of the deal.
According to CNN, the sale process follows next. The lenders have secured a US$20 million loan to continue operating Vice and then, if a better bid does not emerge, the group that includes Fortress and Soros will acquire Vice. The plan to sell the company comes weeks after the company announced a major restructuring that will result in dozens of job cuts and the end of its popular program “Vice News Tonight.”
In a statement, Vice's co-CEOs, Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala, said that the bankruptcy sale would ultimately strengthen the company. “We look forward to completing the sale process in the next two to three months and charting a healthy and successful next chapter at Vice,” they commented.