VICE Media, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday, owes about $10 million to Wipro, making the Indian IT firm the largest unsecured creditor of the media group. The Bengaluru-based IT major won the arbitration award for $9.9 million against VICE earlier in March, according to the filings seen by FE.
Consultancy firm AlixPartners’ Frank Pometti, who has been appointed chief restructuring officer of VICE, said in the filings that the freeze on the Vice Media (bank) accounts has essentially shut off much of its liquidity.
In the filings, Pometti said, “Wipro on May 10 served the debtors’ primary cash management bank JPMorgan Chase Bank (JPMC) with a restraining notice similar to the those received by the debtors, which sought to impose a stay on withdrawals from Vice Media’s accounts at the bank. At that time, there were funds in the VICE Media JPMC accounts in excess of the amounts required to satisfy the stay requirements of the restraining notice. It is my understanding that JPMC has frozen the VICE Media accounts pending an order from a court that clarifies the control of the funds.”
Pometti said, “In May 2020, Wipro, a former services provider to Vice Media, commenced an arbitration proceeding relating to the termination of its agreement with debtor Vice Media. On March 1, 2023, the arbitrator ruled in favour of Wipro, awarding it approximately $7.9 million, plus pre-award interest at a rate of 9%, together amounted to approximately $9.9 million.”