Vice Media has been struggling for years to keep up with the digital age, laying off a number of staffers, closing some divisions, and canceling some longtime programs. In May, the company filed for bankruptcy. An auction scheduled for today at 10:00 a.m. EST was canceled as no qualified “superior bids” were placed before the deadline to do so ran out.
The auction was essentially opening the door for interested parties but also gave the company a chance to see what the actual market valuation of such a sale could be. Back in 2017, Vice Media had a valuation of $5.7 billion over all its divisions.
That left Fortress Investment Group as the new owner of Vice Media. Fortress Investment Group offered a $225 million “stalking horse bid” back in May when Vice Media first filed for bankruptcy according to a court document filled this week.
The Group raised its offer to $350 million afterward to compete with GoDigital’s bid of $300 million. Fortress Investment Group was doubtful GoDigital had secured the necessary funding, though GoDigital tells a different tale.
“Our offer was significantly more than the stalking horse bid by the sellers. The sellers chose to turn down this opportunity even though it was a bid higher than their own,” said GoDigital, and “remains ready to acquire Vice on reasonable terms and had demonstrated the financial ability to do so as part of this process.”
GoDigital may get another shot at buying Vice in a few years when it’s very possible Fortress Investment Group will be open to selling. What changes the Group will make in the meantime and what assets it will consider selling off beforehand remains to be seen.
This Friday, Vice will take the deal to bankruptcy court and finalize the sale. Check back with Cord Cutters News as we continue to follow this story.