Vice Preparing To File For Bankruptcy

ER Editor: In addition to Vice and Buzzfeed, we’ve recently seen lots of disruptive activity for the BBC (and here and here), CBC, CNN (the latest being Don Lemon, the first being bought out by an ally of Trump) and Fox.

See also this by RT — Vice Media to file for bankruptcy – NYT


Vice Preparing To File For Bankruptcy

Tyler Durden's Photo TYLER DURDEN

First BuzzFeed, now Vice: one by one all the woke “media giants” of the new normal are going broke.

Just two weeks after we reported that BuzzFeed News – which was instrumental in spreading fake news to get us suspended on twitter – was shuttering it not filing for bankruptcy just yet, today the NYT reports that the woke left’s disruptor darling and former “multi-billion media empire” Vice, which once upon a time charmed giants like Disney and Fox into investing hundreds of millions before its stunning crash-landing, is preparing to file for bankruptcy.

According to the NYT, the filing could come in the coming weeks, according to three people familiar with the matter who weren’t authorized to discuss the potential bankruptcy on the record.

Vice headquarters in Venice, Calif

The company has been looking for a buyer, and still might find one, to avoid declaring bankruptcy. More than five companies have expressed interest in acquiring Vice, according to a person briefed on the discussions. The chances of that, however, are growing increasingly slim, said one of the people with knowledge of the potential bankruptcy.

A Vice bankruptcy filing would be a fitting ending to the tumultuous story of Vice, a new-media Phoenix that rose out of the ashes with its iconoclastic, counterculture facade, then quickly sought to supplant the media establishment before persuading it to invest hundreds of millions of dollars. In 2017, after a funding round from the private-equity firm TPG, Vice was worth $5.7 billion. Around this time, the company realized that for the money to keep flowing, it would need to curb its rebellious ways and quickly turned woke, losing most of its fans in the process.

As a result, the company is now worth a fraction of the money it managed to squeeze out of existing media giants, and is now facing bankruptcy.

When Vice files, the company’s largest debtholder, hedge fund Fortress, will likely end up controlling the company. Vice could continue operating normally and run an auction to sell the company over a 45-day period, with Fortress in pole position as the most likely acquirer.

Unlike Vice’s other investors, which have included Disney and Fox, Fortress holds senior debt, which means it gets paid out first in the event of a sale. Disney and Fox, which have already written down their investments to zero, are getting wiped out.

“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.”

Vice began as a punk magazine in Montreal more than two decades ago. Over the years, it blossomed into a global media company with a movie studio, an ad agency, a glossy show on HBO and bureaux in far-flung world capitals. Disney, after investing hundreds of millions in Vice, explored buying the company in 2015 for more than $3 billion.

The deal never materialized, but the interest from Disney forced a comprehensive culture revolution within Vice, which lost its rebellious appeal and instead scrambled to appeal to woke snowflakes – the group that represents the core decision-making process at Disney – and not surprisingly, it lost virtually all of its readers and viewers in the process.

After it failed to convince a strategic partner to acquire it, Vice eventually succumbed to a bearish market for digital media companies. The company has been trying for years to turn a profit but has consistently failed to do so, losing money and repeatedly laying off employees.

Last week, we reported that Vice was closing its Vice World News, a global reporting initiative that covered world conflict and human-rights abuses. The closure of the world news operation was a blow to employees who saw the division’s aggressive coverage as in keeping with Vice’s roots in gonzo journalism, established when co-founder Shane Smith would report from risky destinations like North Korea.

As it has sought a buyer in recent months, Vice has dealt with turnover in its leadership ranks. Nancy Dubuc, the company’s former chief executive, left this year after nearly five years at the company. Jesse Angelo, the company’s global president of news and entertainment, also left the company.

Smith founded Vice with Suroosh Alvi and Gavin McInnes in 1994 as a magazine. He sold out his core vision of Vice in the coming years just so he could buy (and then sell) the legendary Beverly Hills Cop mansion for $50 million. In 2008, McInnes left Vice in 2008 and went on to found the Proud Boys. He has yet to sell out.

News of Vice’s coming bankruptcy reached as far away as El Salvador, whose president Nayib Bukele had a laconic comment.




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