Vice Media Group, the parent company of Vice News and Motherboard, is gearing up to file for bankruptcy.
The company is looking for a buyer to avoid the filing and recently had five interested companies — but the chances of a sale are reportedly looking increasingly slim.
Vice was worth $5.7 billion in 2017, but according to a report from the New York Times, it is now worth just a “tiny fraction” of that.
“In the event of a bankruptcy, Vice’s largest debtholder, Fortress Investment Group, could end up controlling the company, said one of the people. Vice would 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,” the Times report explained.
“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, which has already written down its investments, is not getting a return, the person said.”
Vice News was co-founded in 1994 by Suroosh Alvi, Shane Smith, and Proud Boys founder and comedian Gavin McInnes.
“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.”
Last week, employees of Vice World News were told that their operation was being shut down. “Vice News Tonight” was also cancelled last week.
“In response to the current market conditions and business realities facing [Vice Media Group] and the broader news and media industry, we are moving forward on some painful but necessary reductions, primarily across our News business,” co-chief executives Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala announced in a memo to employees, which was obtained by CNN, on Thursday.
“We are transforming Vice News to better withstand market realities and more closely align with how and where we see our audiences engaging with our content most,” the memo continued.
The final broadcast of the show will air on May 25.
The show’s cancellation came with dozens of layoffs, hitting the DC office particularly hard. The company is working with the Vice Union to negotiate severance packages.
Buzzfeed also announced last week that they are shutting down their news division.