Vice Media, the once-brash digital media disrupter, has fallen on hard times. In 2017, the company was worth $5.7 billion after a funding round from private equity firm TPG, but today it is worth only a fraction of that amount.
Vice Media is now close to a deal for senior lenders, including Fortress Investment Group and Soros Fund Management, to acquire the company out of bankruptcy at a valuation of around $400 million.
Almost every Vice stockholder, including TPG Group, Sixth Street Partners, and media mogul James Murdoch, would be wiped out under the proposed reorganization.
Fortress will likely retain current management and find a role for Vice co-founder Shane Smith if the deal proceeds.
Vice's financial struggles reflect new media companies' challenges navigating a complex advertising environment dominated by Meta Platforms' Facebook and Alphabet's Google.
Last month, BuzzFeed announced the closure of its news division. At the same time, Vox Media laid off around 7% of its staff in January due to ongoing financial difficulties in the digital media industry.
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