Once a journalistic behemoth known for in-depth and provoking content, Vice Media is reportedly facing bankruptcy as it continues to seek a buyer while the clock winds down on an official filing.
According to the New York Times, three separate people familiar with the situation noted that the filing could happen within “the coming weeks.”
“Vice Media Group has been engaged in a comprehensive evaluation of strategic alternatives and planning,” Vice said in a statement on Monday, per the outlet. “The company, its board and stakeholders continue to be focused on finding the best path for the company.”
Vice did not immediately return Entrepreneur’s request for comment.
More than a handful of companies have shown interest in acquiring Vice, according to the report, but the odds of any coming into fruition are “increasingly slim.”
Vice hired a team of bankers about a year ago in an attempt to work on a sale strategy with its content studio and advertising agency named Virtue.
At its prime, in 2017, Vice received a $450 million investment from TPG Inc. which valued the media conglomerate at roughly $5.7 billion. Last year, when it tried (and failed) to go public in partnership with 7GC & Co Holdings, it was estimated to be worth around $3 billion.
“Nobody in the industry seriously thought that Vice was ready to go public. That was never going to happen,” a source told The New York Post at the time of the attempted SPAC agreement. “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.”
Vice was originally founded by Shane Smith as a magazine in 1994 before pivoting to digital media and HBO in 2013. The company launched its own video channel named Viceland in 2016. By 2019, both the HBO programming and Viceland were canceled.
Just last week, Vice announced that its cornerstone Vice News Tonight cable show would be shutting down. The company reportedly laid off roughly 100 employees amid other major changes to leadership this year including the departure of former CEO Nancy Dubuc.