Vice Media is looking to cut costs and had brought in consultancy AlixPartners in recent weeks to help review its business as it explores a sale of its studio arm or the entire company, according to people familiar with the situation.
The New York-based media company is slowing down hiring and cutting other costs to attain positive cash flow and generate $25 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization this year, the people said. Vice is projecting revenue to rise to over $700 million in 2022, up from around $680 million last year, the people said. Its studio arm, which is one of the assets it is potentially looking to offload, makes up nearly one-third of that revenue.
Vice’s cost cutting comes as all media companies are seeing a decline in advertising revenue amidst market uncertainty. Last week, Snap warned that its second-quarter revenue and profits would fall short of its earlier projections due to faster deterioration in the economy than it had anticipated.
But Vice, which operates a news division, a digital business that includes Refinery 29, and the Virtue ad agency, has unique challenges in that it has been under pressure from investors, including private equity company TPG, to repay $1.1 billion in debt it owes. Last month, Vice hired bankers from LionTree and PJT Partners to explore a sale of its studio business, The Information first reported. Since then, Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc has told executives the media company received interest in the division, according to one of the people.