The Information reports that Vice Media’s plan to go public by merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) has stalled as the company struggles to raise additional financing for the deal “amid questions about Vice’s valuation”.
Vice had been expected to be valued at around $2.5 billion – a huge reduction from its peak valuation of $5.7 billion in 2017. But even that now looks ambitious. Vice may struggle to persuade investors it is worth even $2 billion.
The Information says that, although Vice is still in exclusive discussions with the SPAC backed by 7GC, the stalled talks are “a sign of how difficult SPAC financing has become, particularly for businesses that are showing little if any growth…”
Vice Media owns news site Vice, TV channel Viceland, an ad agency and a television production business. It has never been consistently profitable, although CEO Nancy Dubuc has cut costs and reduced its losses since taking over in 2018. Revenue reportedly fell slightly last year to $580 million from $604 million in 2019. according to an investor presentation seen by The Information. Its losses fell from more than $100 million in 2018 to around $20 million in 2020. Vice is forecasting revenue of $750 million in 2022.