Vice Media has a path out of bankruptcy—a purchase by a group led by Fortress Investment Group, the company’s biggest secured creditor.
The bid, initially $225 million, was recently raised to $350 million, according to The New York Times. The sale is expected to close in July.
The Fortress bidding group also includes Soros Fund Management and Monroe Capital .
Vice Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May, at which time the creditors led by Fortress initially made their bid. Vice has continued operating.
Fortress was not the only company bidding on Vice.
Another bid was made by GoDigitalMedia Group.
“After exhaustive negotiations and diligence, GoDigital Media Group developed a plan not just for the survival of Vice and its brands, but for their rejuvenation, growth, and expansion,” the company says. “We put in a bid that properly reflects a future where everyone has a stake, and also reflects new economic and financial realities that came to light in the final weeks and days.
That offer was “significantly more than the stalking horse bid by the sellers,” GoMedia continues. “Our approach included a concrete plan with real, renewed leadership, expertise, and investment that would have led to a profitable Vice in under 12 months.”
Terms of that bid were not disclosed, but one source said it was $75 million higher than the initial Fortress bid.
However, Vice Media’s co-chief executives, Hozefa Lokhandwala and Bruce Dixon, said in an email to Vice employees that, “While we received multiple bids for the company, none of the other bids rose to the level of being deemed a superior bid,” according to the Times.
There is speculation that Fortress Group would sell off some individual units.
In April, Vice Media said it was pulling the plug on Vice News Tonight newscast amid layoffs reportedly totaling 250.
“To be incredibly clear, Vice News is core to Vice Media Group and fundamental to our business,” Dizon and Lokhandwala said in a memo, according to reports. “We are NOT exiting the news business, but we are changing the shape of Vice News to position the whole Company for long-term opportunities and improve how we deliver important, ground-breaking journalism well into the future.”