Financial TimesFinancial Times

The fall of Vice: Private equity’s ill-fated bet on media’s future

By Sujeet Indap and Anna Nicolaou

25 May 2023 · 10 min read

Editor's Note

A Vice Media founder once said a public listing would “look very sexy.” But now the company has filed for bankruptcy, and private equity investors have lost nearly $500 million. The FT reports.

When private equity investors put nearly half a billion dollars into Vice Media in 2017, co-founder Shane Smith hinted that the cash would help his digital media company achieve a public listing that “would look very sexy”.

Speaking at an advertising festival in Cannes, with sunglasses on and the French Riviera behind him, the blustering media executive joked with reporters that he “rounds up” Vice’s $5.7bn valuation to $6bn “because it’s easier to say”.

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