Vice Media, the newest digital media company to fall following a stratospheric rise, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
In exchange for $225 million in financing, Vice said Monday that it has agreed to sell its assets to a group of lenders, including Fortress Investment Group, Soros Fund Management, and Monroe Capital. Other parties may also submit bids.
The company’s announcement to terminate its flagship “Vice News Tonight” show amid a round of layoffs, which was anticipated to affect more than 100 of its 1,500 employees, was made just weeks before the bankruptcy filing, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The business also announced that Vice World News would no longer exist, leaving Vice News as its exclusive global brand.
The filing on Monday comes amid a wave of media closures and layoffs, including recent employment cuts at Gannett, NPR, the Washington Post, and other organizations as part of a cost-cutting initiative by its corporate parent, BuzzFeed Inc., the Pulitzer Prize-winning digital media company BuzzFeed News was shut down in April.
This year, digital advertising fell precipitously, reducing the income of big tech firms like Google and Facebook.
Vice Media’s beginnings may be traced back to 1994 when Vice’s initial punk magazine was first published in Montreal.
Vice quickly relocated to New York and established itself as a major media organization.
In-your-face journalism that covered complex subjects worldwide became Vice’s trademark over time. Aside from brands like Refinery 29 and Unbothered, the media company’s assets include in-house marketing services and film and TV production.
The media organization has had difficulty increasing profits in recent years. Vice, which was experiencing financial problems, obtained $30 million in debt financing from Fortress Investment Group in February, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Vice had a $5.7 billion market cap in 2017.
According to a recent article in The New York Times, most experts now believe the company is only worth a small portion of that.
The sale process would improve the business and set it up for long-term growth, according to vice co-CEOs Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala.