Vice Media Is Prepping for Bankruptcy Filing, Seeks Buyer, Says New York Times

The digital media company has been struggling for months

Vice Media Group

Vice media is on the verge of filing for bankruptcy and is seeking a buyer, according to a Monday report in the New York Times.

Citing two people with knowledge of the company’s operations, the Times said a bankruptcy filing could arrive in the coming weeks, but that Vice is still hoping a buyer will swoop in to avert it. Vice did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment Monday.

Five companies have expressed interest, according to the Times, which added that the chances of a sale are growing dim.

Vice was worth as much as $5.7 billion in 2017 after a fresh funding round, as well as investments from Disney and Fox. Should it fall to bankruptcy, its largest debt-holder, Fortress Investment Group, could wind up in control, the sources told the Times. The company would continue operating while Fortress explored a sale, or takes over, after 45 days.

“Vice Media Group has been engaged in a comprehensive evaluation of strategic alternatives and planning,” Vice said in a statement to the Times. “The company, its board and stakeholders continue to be focused on finding the best path for the company.”

Vice, which began as a magazine, has grown to include a movie and TV studio, ad agency, HBO show and alternative news organization. At one point, during its heyday in 2015, Disney considered acquiring Vice outright for $3 billion, the Times reported.