×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Vice’s Value Drops Further After Disney Takes $353 Million Write-Off

Disney disclosed a $353 million impairment charge for its investment in Vice Media — another sign that the youth-culture company has lost ground in the past year.

The Mouse House’s write-off, included as part of its robust earnings announcement for the March quarter, comes after Disney took a $157 million impairment charge related to Vice in the September 2018 quarter.

Currently, Disney holds a 21% effective ownership in Vice, as well as 21st Century Fox’s 6% stake after Disney completed the Fox acquisition in March.

Disney’s total $510 million reported loss on its Vice investment exceeds the $400 million that Disney originally invested into Vice directly over three years ago (when the company was valued at $4 billion). However, Vice’s valuation increased with a 2017 funding round — soaring to $5.7 billion — which increased the value of Disney’s stake. Also, Disney’s overall stake in Vice encompasses 50% of the investments made by A+E Networks (a 50-50 joint venture with Hearst) and the addition of 21CF’s stake in Vice.

What the Brooklyn-based media company is worth now is unclear; a Vice spokeswoman declined to comment on the valuation. Disney’s write-down and current estimated value of the Vice investment does not reflect the $250 million in debt financing Vice closed last week from an investment consortium led by financing firm 23 Capital, with participation by George Soros’ Soros Fund Management, Fortress Investment Group and Monroe Capital.

The once high-flying Vice has suffered a shortfall in revenue goals, and laid off about 250 employees, or 10% of its staff, earlier this year.

Vice CEO Nancy Dubuc, hired last year to lead the company’s turnaround efforts, has set a target of achieving profitability within the next fiscal year. The ex-CEO of A+E Networks restructured the company around five lines of business: digital, news, Vice Studios (film and TV production), the Viceland cable channel (a partnership with A+E), and in-house ad agency Virtue.

In a statement after Disney reported earnings Tuesday, a Vice rep said, “Vice is firing on all cylinders and on target to meet, if not exceed, its financial targets for the third straight quarter. Our new executive team’s strategic plan is well underway and with the recent capital raise, we will continue investing in the long-term growth of our five global businesses — television, studio, digital, news and our advertising agency, Virtue.”

More Biz

  • Sub Pop Cofounder Jonathan Poneman Talks

    Sub Pop Cofounder Jonathan Poneman Talks Legacy and Lifetime Achievement Award

    In its early days, Sub Pop seemed like one of the last record companies on earth that would survive, let alone remain vital, for more than 30 years. They brought Nirvana and Soundgarden to the world, but seemed destined to be forever typecast as the ground zero of grunge, a rock genre that shook the [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild Rejects ATA Offer, Seeks Individual Talks With 9 Top Agencies

    The Writers Guild of America has called off negotiations with the Association of Talent Agents in favor of pursuing individual talks with nine top agencies as it enforces a total ban on packaging fees and affiliated production for agents representing guild members. WGA West president David Goodman announced the guild’s decision to reject the ATA’s [...]

  • Harry Ponsonby and Diane Kamin

    Hollywood’s National Research Group Expands Into Asia (EXCLUSIVE)

    Media research and testing firm National Research Group is this month to open its first office in Asia. The new unit will be located in Singapore and eventually operate across a widely-defined version of Asia Pacific that includes mainland China, Japan and India. Best known for its behind the scenes role in pre-release testing of [...]

  • Jim Gosnell

    APA Claims Texts Were Fabricated in Lurid Sex Harassment Suit

    A former assistant at APA filed a lurid sexual harassment complaint on Wednesday alleging that a partner at the firm sent her graphic text messages and threatened to have her fired when she refused his advances. The assistant, identified in the suit only as Jane Doe, alleges that top management fostered a “toxic, pervasive and [...]

  • Logic Launches BobbyBoy Records as Joint

    Logic Launches BobbyBoy Records as Joint Venture With Def Jam

    Grammy-nominated rapper Logic — aka Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, aka Bobby Hall —has announced a joint venture with Def Jam Recordings for his new label, BobbyBoy Records, which was formerly known as Elysium Records. The imprint’s initial artist roster is comprised of singer-songwriter John Lindahl, Damian Lemar Hudson (featured on “Black Spiderman,” from Logic’s RIAA platinum 2017 album, “Everybody”); Big Lenbo (featured on two previous Logic albums); [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content