A proposed merger between Vice Media and investment company 7GC & Co Holdings values the media outlet at almost $3 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
The price tag is much smaller than the $5.7 billion valuation Vice earned when it secured a $450 million investment from private equity firm TPG in 2017, the Journal added.
Vice Media did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill. 7GC & Co Holdings could not be reached for comment.
The merger will be structured as a special acquisition company, or SPAC, deal where a company with no commercial operations goes public specifically to raise money for an acquisition or merger.
In this case, a 7GC & Co Holdings’s initial public offering would raise some of the $3 billion needed to merge with Vice and free it from financial obligations to TPG, which owns the company along with Walt Disney Co., A&E Networks Group, merchant bank Raine Group and founder Shane Smith.
Under the new deal, the current owners will control 75 percent of Vice while 7GC & Co Holdings would control the rest, people familiar with the deal told the Journal.
Vice Media has five segments: digital content outlet Vice.com, feature film and TV production studio Vice Studios, TV network Vice TV, a news division and ad agency Virtue.
Amid the start of the pandemic last year, the Journal reported that Vice was planning on laying off 300 people, though Vice disputed the report.
In February 2019, the company announced plans to lay off about 10 percent of its workforce.
The Vice merger is the latest SPAC-fueled media deal rumored to be underway this year.
On April 30, news broke of a possible SPAC deal to take Forbes Media public. Earlier in the year, rumors also surfaced of a SPAC deal between Axios and subscription-based sports media company the Athletic. However, that deal now appears to be dead.