May 15 (Reuters) – Vice Media Group, famous for websites such as Vice and Motherboard, filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, citing its sale to a group of creditors amid financial problems and top-executive departures.
A consortium of lenders that includes Fortress Investment Group, Soros Fund Management and Monroe Capital will provide about $225 million in debt bids for all of the company’s assets and assume significant liabilities at closing, Weiss said.
Under a credit bid, creditors can swap their secured debt for the company’s assets instead of paying cash.
According to court filings, the company lists both assets and liabilities between $500 million and $1 billion.
Wise said it received commitments for debtor-in-possession financing from lenders and approved the use of more than $20 million in cash, which it said would be “more than adequate” to fund its business throughout the sale process.
The bankruptcy filing comes amid a challenging period for many tech and media companies, which have sought downsizing in recent months due to a turbulent economy and weak advertising market.
Vice was among the fastest-growing group of digital media ventures that once commanded rich ratings as it attracted thousands of viewers. It rose to prominence with its co-founder Shane Smith, who built his media empire from a Canadian magazine.
In April, the company said it was canceling the popular TV show “Vice News Tonight” as part of a broader restructuring that will result in job cuts across the digital media company’s global news business.
Last month, BuzzFeed Inc ( BZFD.O ) said it was closing its news division, which was renowned for its irreverent and investigative coverage but ultimately succumbed to the challenges of its digital-first business model.
Reporting by Rahat Sandhu in Bangalore; Editing by Uttaresh Venkateshwaran
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