Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

09/03/2010

Something Fishy in the State of Brown Publishing?


I don’t trust banks, their motives and their hidden (or otherwise) fees. And when I hear that a group of “lenders” have formed a company to buy a bankrupt company (in this case Brown Publishing) that is a debtor to them, after Brown company employees tried to buy their company, something just HAS to be wrong!

Don’t ask me what, I just don’t know enough about the inner workings of this deal, BUT, it seems awfully fishy…Legal, no doubt, but stink-emitting nonetheless.

This from Business Courier of Cincinnati:

After a bid from company insiders fell through, Cincinnati-based Brown Publishing now will likely be sold to a company formed by its lenders.

The Dayton Daily News Reports that attorneys for Brown Publishing filed papers this week that indicate that Brown newspapers would be transferred to a company called Ohio Community Media Inc. for about $22 million.

The company is owned by a group of lenders that includes PNC Bank, Prudential Insurance Co., Wells Fargo Bank, Allied Irish Bank, AIB Debt Management, Brown Brothers and Harriman, and Huntington National Bank, according to the report.

A group formed by Brown Publishing CEO Roy Brown, CFO Joe Ellingham and General Counsel Joel Dempsey had been attempting to close on a $22.4 million bid for the Cincinnati-based publishing firm.

But according to court filings, the group disclosed last week that it could not complete the buy because the lender had withdrawn. The lender wasn’t identified.

John’s Note: What you want to bet this unidentified lender is one belonging to the newly-formed, successful-bidder company: Ohio Community Media Inc.?

Brown Publishing, which filed for bankruptcy in May, operates a chain of small-town newspapers and business weeklies. It owed about $105 million to creditors when a liquidity squeeze prompted it to file for bankruptcy protection, according to the company’s court filings. The book value of its assets at the time was about $94 million.

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