In the past years, big media companies were scrambling to place their capital on Vice Media, with Disney leading with over $400 million in investments, says Vox. However, Disney now reveals that the assets placed on Vice have been ‘incinerated.’ The media giant says that it no longer expects for its capital to be returned.
Disney’s stakes in Vice are based on direct ownership and indirect ownership (21% through A&E and 6% through 21st Century Fox).
In a report by Los Angeles Times, it was revealed that Disney has written off its $353 million bets in the company. This is the second time that the company faces such a detrimental situation in terms of investments. The first hit was in 2018 in which the giant wrote down a $157 million investment.
The outlet is known to produce a new show for HBO. It is also recognized as the operator of Viceland cable channel, which has suffered from low ratings and difficulties in marketing online videos.
According to some of its investors, the media outlet remains to have value, especially as some of these investors placed around $250 million on the company in investments. The media outlet was supposedly worth $5.7 billion at one point. Co-founder Shane Smith led the company to its fame and glory. However, Smith resigned from such operations in 2018, replaced by former A&E Networks Chief Executive Nancy Dubuc.
Dubuc says that the $250-million agreement with investors is expected to assist the company in its recovery. However, she has not revealed a timeline in which Vice could become profitable once again.
Moreover, Vice is slated to focus on long-term growths of their various international businesses. It also adds that the company will ‘always be there’ as the media industry is currently “consolidated” with few entities controlling information and entertainment.