Vice Media to keep operating amid sale process

Publisher files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and secures one buyer

Vice Media: opened a virtual office in Decentraland last year

Vice Media has claimed it has secured enough money to keep operating both in the US and internationally while it finds a new owner over the space of the next two to three months.

The company said its brands, which include creative agency Virtue and media brands Vice, Vice News, Vice TV, Vice Studios, Pulse Films, Virtue, Refinery29 and i-D, “will continue to produce and deliver award-winning content across platforms”. The digital media company was once valued at $5.7 billion.

In a letter to international partners it emphasised that “Vice’s international operating subsidiaries will continue to operate as they have been” and “we have sufficient liquidity to support our continuing operations”.

The money to sustain operations has been released as part of a deal with Vice Media’s bondholders that gives them the right to buy the company for $225m but also allows other bidders to submit higher or better bids.

As part of the deal Vice Media today filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

It said it has filed several customary first day motions with the court seeking authorisation to support its operations during the court-supervised sale process, including the continued payment of employee wages and benefits without interruption and payment to vendors and suppliers on normal terms for goods and services provided on or after the filing date. It added it expects to receive court approval for these requests.

“Vice serves a huge global audience with a unique brand of news, entertainment and lifestyle content,” Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala, Vice’s co-chief executives, said. “This accelerated court-supervised sale process will strengthen the company and position Vice for long-term growth, thereby safeguarding the kind of authentic journalism and content creation that makes Vice such a trusted brand for young people and such a valued partner to brands, agencies and platforms.

“We will have new ownership, a simplified capital structure and the ability to operate without the legacy liabilities that have been burdening our business. We look forward to completing the sale process in the next two to three months and charting a healthy and successful next chapter at Vice.”