NEW YORK, NY— On Monday, May 15, media company VICE has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a court in New York. Their lenders are likely to take over the company for $225 million. They include Fortress Investment Group and Soros Fund Management. This purchase would be covered by its existing loans to the company.
The lenders have secured a loan of $20 million in order to keep the media company running. If a higher bid is not submitted, the group that includes Fortress and Soros will acquire VICE.
Vice was founded by Gavin McInnes, Suroosh Alvi and Shane Smith in Montreal in 1994. They initially covered sub-cultures and music in print. They expanded to video in 2006 and expanded on the nature of content they covered.
Vice’s YouTube channel has 16.8 million subscribers. Some of their most viewed documentaries include “The Superhuman World of Wim Hof: The Iceman,” “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” and “Slutever.”
The company was valued at $5.7 billion in 2017.
“Vice serves a huge global audience with a unique brand of news, entertainment and lifestyle content,” stated Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala, co-chief executives of the company.
“The issue with Vice and all similar websites is that they never really worked out a business model for free online journalism,” Joseph Teasdale, head of technology at Enders Analysis, stated to the BBC.
Vice have won multiple Peabody awards for news journalism. Their latest came in 2023 for the documentary “No Justice for Women in the Taliban’s Afghanistan.”