Vice Media Group announced the completion of its US$350 million sale to a consortium of its former lenders, which consists of funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group LLC, Soros Fund Management and Monroe Capital.
"This marks the start of an exciting new chapter for Vice. With the support of our Investor Group, we now have the resources to strengthen our business, our partnerships and our content creation across all platforms. Under new ownership and with this leadership team, Vice is positioned to drive our uniquely differentiated brand of news, entertainment and lifestyle content that makes Vice a trusted brand for global audiences and a valued partner to brands, agencies and platforms," said Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala, Vice's Co-Chief Executive Officers.
"We are very pleased to complete the acquisition of Vice and we are excited to build upon the achievements of one of the most iconic brands in news and entertainment. We look forward to growing a strong business that is committed to serving audiences, brands and partners with award-winning content. With a strong management team in place, Vice is well-positioned to grow its uniquely compelling world class businesses and drive value during its next chapter," the Investor Group said in a joint statement.
The deal was announced in June, a month after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The sale brings an end to the ongoing turmoil surrounding Vice, which was worth as much as US$5.7 billion in 2017 after a fresh funding round, as well as investments from Disney and Fox.
After the completion of the negotiation, the VICE Union issued a statement. “We are pleased to learn that Fortress has finalized its purchase of Vice, and hope that this signals the end of what has been an overall chaotic and unpleasant period for our union members,” the text reads.
“We, the Vice Union, which includes the members of the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) and Motion Pictures Editors Guild (MPEG) IATSE Local 700, now call on Fortress to honor our Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) that have provided Vice’s staff with meaningful worker protections. Doing so will not only be a gesture of respect to the workforce, but will also ensure a smooth transition period for everyone involved,” the statement added.
“As part of its commitment to honor the CBAs, it is imperative that Fortress address the outstanding matter of severance owed to dozens of people who were laid off in May. They have been waiting months for the money Vice agreed to pay them promptly in the event of layoffs. They cannot afford to wait any longer,” it concluded.