Vice Media Group hires financial advisors to explore sale

Gangs Of London

US-based Vice Media Group, which includes a studio, distribution division and the recently acquired UK prodco Pulse Films, is exploring a sale, according to reports.

The Nancy Dubuc-led firm, which was valued at $5.7bn in 2017, is hoping to sell the entire business outright ­– and several buyers have apparently expressed early interest – but Vice is considering selling off divisions individually if a deal cannot be reached, according to CNBC.

Vice, which also owns creative advertising agency Virtue, is understood to be seeking a buyer for liquidity for investors and to clear $1bn of debt.

The firm is working with investment bank PJT and LionTree to explore the sale of production arm Vice Studios, which is behind programming including the upcoming Paramount+ docuseries MH370: The Lost Flight.

Vice’s studio business also includes Gangs Of London prodco Pulse Films, which was acquired by the firm in March, six years after it took a controlling stake. Its distribution division, meanwhile, was launched in 2020 and handles global sales for programming including such franchises as Dark Side of the 90s, Rise Up and The Story Of as well as content such as GaycationThe Trixie and Katya Show and What Would Diplo Do?

A Vice spokesperson said: “The market is very active in the studio space right now and we have built a scaled, global world-class studio business that’s generating inquiries — when there’s that kind of interest, we have to consider it for our investors. Beyond that, there’s nothing to comment on.”

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