September 28, 2023

Vice Media restarts sale course of at decrease valuation

Vice Media restarts sale course of at decrease valuation

Vice Media places of work show the Vice brand in Venice, California.

Mario Tama | Getty Photographs

Vice Media is restarting its sale course of after earlier bidders balked on the preliminary price ticket, in accordance with individuals conversant in the scenario.

The digital media firm, which was valued at $5.7 billion in 2017, is now more likely to fetch a worth of beneath $1 billion, the individuals stated. Initially, Vice was in search of a valuation between $1 billion and $1.5 billion, one of many individuals added. The individuals weren’t approved to talk publicly on the matter.

A Vice Media spokesperson declined to remark.

Vice final yr employed advisers to facilitate a sale of some or all of its enterprise, CNBC beforehand reported. A few of its most engaging property are more likely to be its content material studio and inventive promoting company, Advantage, CNBC beforehand reported, however the firm is making an attempt to promote itself in full reasonably than in items, the individuals stated.

Certainly one of Vice’s lenders, Fortress Funding Group, is a driving pressure within the sale course of, the individuals stated, and has agreed to attend on mortgage reimbursement. Fortress was reportedly a part of a consortium of lenders in 2019 that offered $250 million in debt to Vice.

Vice has lowered its expectations in hopes of getting a deal finished and securing a payout sooner reasonably than later, the individuals stated.

The corporate had been nearing a cope with Greek broadcaster Antenna Group, however these talks stalled in current weeks, the individuals stated. Antenna continues to be more likely to be an bidder within the renewed sale course of, they added.

Representatives for Antenna and Fortress declined to remark.

Digital media firms have fallen from nice heights from in recent times as progress has stalled attributable to shrinking viewers numbers and promoting. They’ve notably confronted rising competitors for advert {dollars} from tech giants like Google. Media firms normally have been going through a slowdown in promoting income as macroeconomic circumstances have induced a pullback from advertisers.

In the meantime, Buzzfeed, the one digital media firm to IPO, has seen its inventory fall roughly 90% since going public in 2021.

Vice reached its peak valuation in 2017 with a $450 million funding from non-public fairness agency TPG, valuing the corporate on the time at almost $6 billion.

The corporate later focused a valuation of roughly $3 billion, together with debt, when it tried to go public through particular goal acquisition firm 7GC & Co Holdings in 2021. Nevertheless these plans additionally stalled after the market cooled and buyers had been now not offered on Vice’s prospects as a standalone public firm.

Vice ended 2022 with a slight acquire in income, however the enterprise deteriorated amongst macroeconomic headwinds, in accordance with an individual conversant in the matter. Vice missed its income objective by greater than $100 million for 2022, The Wall Avenue Journal beforehand reported.

Whereas the corporate was unprofitable final yr, a few of its models did submit a revenue, and Vice has been intermittently worthwhile in recent times, the individual added.

WATCH: Vice Media CEO talks to CNBC after $400 million acquisition of Refinery29

Vice Media restarts sale course of at decrease valuation

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