Vice Media Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Posted on May 15, 2023

Vice Media has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The filing comes ahead of a sale for $225 million to a consortium lead by Fortress Investment Group, Soros Fund Management and Monroe Capital.

Vice says in a press release that all of its media brands will continue to operate during the bankruptcy and sale period. These include Vice, Vice News, Refinery 29, i-D, Pulse Films and Virtue.

Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala, VICE's Co-Chief Executive Officers, says in a statement, "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 completing the sale process in the next two to three months and charting a healthy and successful next chapter at VICE."

Vice Media grew out of a small Montreal-based niche magazine launched in 1994 into a global media company covering multiple subjects. CNBC says the company has faced competition from web giants like Google and Meta in bringing in advertising revenues.

Vice Media has plunged in value in recent years. NPR notes that Vice Media was once valued at $5.7 billion. NPR says, "The company had tried without success to find a buyer willing to pay its asking price of more than $1 billion. Even that was a fraction of what investors once believed it was worth."

The Vice Media bankruptcy follows the recent closure of BuzzFeed News. Online journalism faces a continual tough advertising climate combined with a reluctance by web users to pay subscription fees.

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