On Monday, Vice Media, once valued at $5.7 billion, announced that they were filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and intended to sell their assets to Fortress Investment Group, Monroe Capital, and Soros Fund Management for credit in the amount of $225 million.
According to the Associated Press, Vice co-CEOs Hozefa Lokhandwala and Bruce Dixon said in a prepared statement that they were making the move to better safeguard " the kind of authentic journalism and content creation that makes VICE such a trusted brand for young people and such a valued partner to brands, agencies and platforms."
"This accelerated court-supervised sale process will strengthen the company and position Vice for long-term growth. We will have new ownership, a simplified capital structure and the ability to operate without the legacy liabilities that have been burdening our business. We look forward to… charting a healthy and successful next chapter at VICE," Lokhandwala and Dixon said.
In addition to the three primary bidders, other groups are expected to submit bids as the sale process takes place over two to three months. Vice, whose current liabilities and assets are estimated between $500 and $1 billion, is expected to continue programming through the bankruptcy and sale and has said they will pay vendors and employees.
Vice filing for Chapter 11 comes after sweeping layoffs and the media company canceling their program Vice News Tonight and ending their Vice World News brand.
In February, Fortress Investment Group provided debt financing to Vice in the amount of $30 million. In 2018, Nancy Dubac took over for Vice co-founder Shane Smith and she stepped down in February.
According to CNBC, Vice filed for Chapter 11 in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
Vice originally started as a Montreal-based punk magazine in 1994 before moving its base to New York City and exploding into a media giant.
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