It’s official, the once worth $5.7bn media company has filed for bankruptcy this morning at 9am. The company, whose assets include Vice News, Motherboard, Refinery29 and Vice TV, has agreed a sale to a consortium that includes Fortress Investment Group, Soros Fund Management and Monroe Capital for $225m in the form of a credit bid for its assets as well as assuming Vice’s “significant liabilities”.

Under the deal, which also has a provision that Vice could still be sold to a third party if a higher bid emerges, the lenders are also providing more than $20m and other financing to fund Vice throughout the sale process.

This really is a ‘oh how the mighty have fallen’ moment. Back in 2017, Vice, was the hot young publication of the moment – this is when it hit a valuation of $5.7bn in 2017 as media giants including Rupert Murdoch, WPP and Disney clamoured for a slice of its youth appeal, had been seeking a sale of about $1.5bn.

In April, the company – which has been evaluating its future since plans to float using a special purpose acquisition vehicle (Spac) collapsed two years ago – announced it was cancelling its popular Vice News Tonight as part of a restructuring that could make more than 100 staff redundant.

In February, Fortress, the company’s debt holder, extended a $30m funding line to let Vice pay overdue bills to vendors. The same month, Nancy Dubuc, who took over as chief executive from controversial co-founder Shane Smith in 2018, announced her surprise departure.

Vice, which began as a punk magazine in Montreal almost three decades ago, expanded into digital media and TV by striking deals with firms including Sky and HBO.

Vice was among a generation of fast-rising digital media upstarts such as BuzzFeed that once threatened to supplant legacy media companies with the right recipe for attracting millennial audiences.

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