Guest Column from Renaissance Horizon…
VICE Media Group was founded in 1994 by Suroosh Alvi, Shane Smith, and Gavin McInnes. It was originally headquartered in Montreal but later moved to New York City in 1999. They started out publishing the Montreal Mirror, which was changed to Vice Magazine in 1996. From 2006 to 2012, they published a series of documentaries called Vice Guide to Travel. One of these was Vice Guide to Liberia, which is my favorite documentary ever made.
In 2013, 21st Century FOX began investing in VICE Media. Then the Walt Disney Company’s A&E started investing in it.
A major HBO series was launched in 2013 that has now published nine seasons. However, the brand soured as the HBO show went on. VICE was transformed from edgy ground-breaking documentaries to cringe political propaganda for the left.
In 2013, VICE Media was valued at $1.4 Billion. One year later, it was valued at $2.5 Billion. In 2017, it was valued at $5.7 Billion. Then it was seen as rapidly losing value. After Walt Disney Company bought 21st Century FOX in 2019, they owned 26% of Vice Media through multiple subsidiaries. However, they wrote down wrote their investment the same year. Vice Media began taking out massive loans this year.
Last February, Greek Broadcaster Antenna Group, which was a major source of ad revenue, suddenly canceled its contract with Vice Media Group. This was the final straw and the company filed chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Vice Media is now given a valuation of only $400 million.
Vice once made ground-breaking documentaries, including a string of documentaries from inside North Korea, and even filmed inside Islamic State-controlled Syria. Suddenly they were attacking White American sorority girls as “racist” and pumping up Antifa. As the company became more focused on pumping out left-wing propaganda, it went into a freefall collapse. Many see it as one of the best examples of the “Go Woke, Go Broke” theory promoted by some conservatives.
Fortress Investment Group is said to be the largest holder of debt from Vice Media. In fact, they just gave the company a new $30 million loan last February. Other major debt holders include Soros Fund Management LLC, 23 Capital, and Monroe Capital. Soros Fund Management is the family fund created by the notorious predatory speculator and far-left financier George Soros.
GoDigital Media Group and Group Black have placed bids of around $400 million on condition that lenders discharge some of the debt. These terms were rejected. Fortress Investment Group and Soros Fund Management are now poised to buy the entire company through the bankruptcy sale. There is still a brief window left for someone else to make a higher bid.
According to the Wall Street Journal [WSJ], the current major shareholders are TPG Group, Sixth Street Partners, and James Murdoch. The WSJ says they will be “wiped out” by the sale.
Vice Guide to Liberia, published in 2006:
Vice News: Islamic State in Al-Raqqa, Syria, published in 2014: