Vice Media, once an epitome of the digital age, filed for bankruptcy Monday, a dramatic crash for a company once worth around $5.7 billion.
A group of lenders could take Vice out of bankruptcy for $225 million, according to the New York Times reported, and the company will continue to produce content. But bankruptcy will entail years of massive investment by companies like Disney and the Murdoch family worthless.
The company’s co-chief executives, Hozefa Lokhandwala and Bruce Dixon, issued a statement Monday saying the bankruptcy filing would ultimately strengthen the company and herald a new chapter.
“We look forward to completing the sale process over the next two to three months and beginning a healthy and prosperous next chapter at Vice,” the two said in a statement to the Times.
The bankruptcy had been expected for weeks. Fortress Investment Group, one of the lenders that made a bid for Vice, plans to retain a role for the company’s co-founder Shane Smith if successful, the Times added.
Vice executives had attempted to broker a sale and breathe new life and profitability into the company, but a deal never materialized. Last month, Vice canceled and announced its flagship show, Vice News Tonight a “painful” round of layoffs throughout the news department.
It’s been a tough year for digital media companies. BuzzFeed, the owner of HuffPost, has closed its eponymous news department and laid off about 15% of employees in the last month.