Vice Media Group, the owner of popular websites VICE and Motherboard, filed for bankruptcy in the US on Monday.
The company is set to be sold to its creditors following years of financial difficulties and a wave of layoffs.
VICE, which was once known for promoting alternative culture and hard-cutting documentaries, has plummeted in value ahead of its planned sale. From a previous valuation of $5.7 billion, the company could now be taken over for as little as $225 million, Reuters reports.
The Vice Media Group filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which postpones its obligations to creditors, giving it time to structure its debts. The company will be bought by its lenders as part of a credit bit, which will swap VICE’s debt for company assets.
The media group, which is popular with younger audiences, has assured that it will continue to operate throughout the corporate restructuring process.
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Experts suggest that VICE ultimately failed to adapt to the increasingly digital media landscape. The company failed to gain enough advertising revenues to support its current activities.
In April, the company slashed its news team, cancelling its “Vice News Tonight” TV programme as part of a wider restructuring which cost many jobs across its global operations.
Troubles at VICE are part of a larger crisis among online media in the US. BuzzFeed announced at the end of April that it would shut down its news division and lay off around 15% of its staff.
VICE was first founded in 1994 as a fringe magazine based in Montréal, Canada. In later years, it rebranded and expanded to become a global media force for music, events, digital, and documentaries.