Vice Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday to facilitate a sale of the company and safeguard its future, according to court documents and a statement from the struggling media group.
The company, 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 $500 million and $1 billion.
A group of deep-state 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 $225 million, and would assume “significant liabilities” upon closing of the deal.
May 6, 2023
Vice Media is nearing a deal for senior lenders including Fortress Investment Group and Soros Fund Management to acquire the troubled media company out of bankruptcy at a valuation of around $400 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Nearly every Vice stockholder—including backers such as private-equity firm TPG Group, Sixth Street Partners and media mogul James Murdoch—would be wiped out under the proposed reorganization, the people familiar with the matter said. Outstanding debts held by TPG and Sixth Street would also be impaired as part of the plan, the people said. The Murdoch family is a major shareholder in Journal parent News Corp .
Related Article: 100 Days of Indy left at the starting gate (Vice Media, producers of the just released IndyCar Docuseries
May 2, 2023
–by Mark Cipolloni–
Vice Media, producers of the just released IndyCar Docuseries 100 Days to Indy, is preparing to file for bankruptcy – after attempts to find a buyer for a company once valued at $5.7 billion appeared to be going nowhere.
100 Days to Indy is a collaboration between Penske Entertainment and VICE Media Group that put viewers behind the scenes – and the wheels.
Episode 1 was released last week on the CW network with only 180K viewers tuned in, but it was up against the NFL draft. IndyCar is hoping for better numbers this week for Episide 2.
More than five companies have expressed interest in acquiring Vice, The New York Times reported on Monday, but the chances of a sale are seen as increasingly remote.
If a buyer is not found, Vice’s largest debt holder, Fortress Investment Group, could end up controlling the company.
Vice would continue operating normally and run an auction to sell the company over a 45-day period.
Fortress holds senior debt, which means it is first in line for a payout. Other investors – among them Disney – have already written down their investments and are not getting their money back, sources told the paper.
‘Vice Media Group has been engaged in a comprehensive evaluation of strategic alternatives and planning,’ Vice said in a statement on Monday.
‘The company, its board and stakeholders continue to be focused on finding the best path for the company.’
The Wall Street Journal reported last year that Vice has estimated it will hit $1 billion in revenue by the end of 2023. Nancy Dubec, the CEO, left the company this year, after helping clean up its toxic workplace culture.
Not the only issue for IndyCar
This would be the second company experiencing financial issues that IndyCar has partnered with. The other being Motorsport Games for the IndyCar racing game.
We’re quite surprised that Penske hasn’t insisted on deeper due diligence. This is something that we wouldn’t have been surprised about if Tony George was still running the show.
But Roger Penske? He’s slipping as rumors of Liberty Media wanting to buy the series circulate.