In the wake of a discounted sale to a consortium, Vice files for bankruptcy protection


Vice Media, the youth-focused media company, has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US as part of a cut-price sale to a consortium of investors.

The company, which was founded in 1994, said in a statement that it has reached a restructuring support agreement with a majority of its lenders and a group of investors led by the private-equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners.

Under the deal, Vice will receive $250 million in new financing and its debt will be reduced by about two-thirds. The company will also cut about 250 jobs, or 15% of its workforce.

The restructuring comes after years of struggles for the company, which has been weighed down by debt as it has failed to meet its lofty ambitions of becoming a global media giant. The company has also been hit by the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused advertising revenue to plunge.

Vice has been attempting to sell itself for several months, but it had been unable to find a buyer willing to pay a price that its shareholders believed was fair. The company had originally sought more than $2 billion, but the sale price is reportedly less than half of that.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.