Vice Media hires financial advisor for sale: report


Vice Media, the Brooklyn-based digital media company based by Shane Smith, has employed bankers to place the company up for sale, in keeping with a report.

Several consumers have expressed “preliminary interest” in shopping for Vice outright, CNBC reported late Monday. Vice, which is saddled with excellent debt and didn’t go public through a particular acquisition company, can also be trying into promoting itself in elements, the report mentioned.

Vice, the once-high flying, digital media darling valued at $5.7 billion, is presently purchasing its profitable content material studio business and employed banks PJT Partners and LionTree for the transaction, The Information reported Friday,

According to CNBC, Vice’s most fascinating property are prone to be its content material studio and artistic promoting company, Virtue, which incorporates Pulse Films, recognized for producing movies like “Pig,” starring Nicolas Cage, documentary, “Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator” and Beyoncé’s “Lemonade.”

At its top, Vice, which was based by Shane Smith, was valued at $5.7 billion.
Bloomberg through Getty Images

Vice tried to go public through a SPAC final year, reaching an settlement with 7GC & Co Holdings. It focused a valuation of about $3 billion together with debt when it tried to go public final year. If Vice agrees to a deal to promote the complete company, it’s prone to garner a worth considerably decrease than that, sources informed CNBC.

Vice’s SPAC plans fell by means of because the market cooled and traders weren’t offered on Vice’s financials and prospects as a stand-alone public company.

Multiple sources with information of Vice’s business informed The Post on the time that going public was extra of a “fantasy” than a actuality for the company, which at its top in 2017 had a bloated valuation of $5.7 billion after non-public fairness investor TPG gave the company a $450 million injection of capital. But that infusion got here at a price, as Vice agreed to hefty future repayments, in keeping with experiences.

Since then, Vice has stumbled in its effort to develop its business, which has been marked by controversy, questionable offers and value cuts.

Vice tried to go public through a SPAC, however these plans fell by means of, because the market cooled.
John Nacion/NurPhoto/Shutterstoc

“Nobody in the industry seriously thought that Vice was ready to go public. That was never going to happen,” mentioned an individual with information of the matter on the time. “The company has been in a never-ending cycle of layoffs, pivots and emergency cash infusions for half a decade. It appears the downward spiral is still ongoing.”

Founded as Vice Magazine in 1994 by the bombastic Smith, the company steadily made its push to video and TV. By 2013, Vice had its personal weekly information present on HBO. Three years later, it launched a cable channel, Viceland, which slumped within the rankings.

Under Smith, Vice had huge desires of turning into a media juggernaut with income touching $1 billion by 2015. But a collection of vital experiences in 2018 on how Vice was constructed on bluffs and smoke and mirrors by Smith, who reportedly oversaw a poisonous work surroundings for feminine workers, tarnished the company and its founder.

Under CEO Nancy Dubuc, Vice has undergone an aggressive restructuring and value reducing plan.
Patrick McMullan through Getty Image

Vice’s fortunes had been souring and by 2019, the HBO present and the cable channel had been canceled, information leaked out that Vice ponied up $1.87 million to settle a pay disparity class-action lawsuit filed by feminine workers and Smith was changed as CEO by A&E boss Nancy Dubuc.

Dubuc had been charged with altering the company’s so-called bro tradition and she or he was tasked with integrating the struggling, lady power-focused media large Refinery29, which the company acquired in 2019 in an all-stock deal. That deal not solely lowered the general valuation of Vice to about $4 billion on the time, however it additionally baffled media watchers.

“The cultures are oil and water. Misogyny meets feminism,” a digital government informed The Post on the time. “When they merge, there will be very deep cuts on the Refinery side,” predicted the manager. “Vice will gut them.”

The Brooklyn-based Vice was as soon as the digital media darling of the trade. Now, it appears to be like to promote itself in elements.

The supply wasn’t too far off, as there have been a number of rounds of reorganization underneath Dubuc throughout the company, which has not solely helped cull prices, but in addition develop income. The Wall Street Journal reported final year that Vice has estimated it is going to hit $1 billion in revenue by the top of 2023.

Now, Vice is mulling a sale because it seeks liquidity for traders and to assist pay again about $1 billion in debt.

CNBC mentioned discussions with potential consumers are ongoing and that no deal is assured or imminent. TPG isn’t all for shopping for all of Vice and as a substitute is trying to monetize a few of its funding, the report mentioned.

A Vice rep informed the publication: “The market is very active in the studio space right now and we have built a scaled, global world-class studio business that’s generating inquiries — when there’s that kind of interest, we have to consider it for our investors. Beyond that, there’s nothing to comment on.”