AEE Parent Files for Bankruptcy

NEWTON, Mass. — The parent company of the Adult Entertainment Expo filed for bankruptcy Oct. 5 in order to restructure its ballooning debt. In its Chapter 11 filing Questex listed assets of $299 million against liabilities of $321 million.

Questex acquired AEE when it purchased various divisions of Advanstar for $185 million in 2005, of which Home Entertainment Events — managers of the show — was a part of.

According to the company, January’s AEE show will take place as planned.

Questex said that it plans to sell the company to the holders of its debt. The B2B trade company is experiencing a “severe contraction in liquidity” and is leaving its assets to existing lenders.

Questex finds itself in a deep hole after it went on a spending spree acquiring other B2B trade companies since its inception in 2005. It is carrying $186 million in first-lien debt and $56 million in second-lien debt. It also owes $18.5 million to the principals of previously acquired companies.

The company’s largest creditor is Wilmington Trust to which it owes $56.6 million in bank debt.

Company officials are projecting a 50 percent earnings drop this year.

A call seeking comment from AEE show director Deborah Brown went unreturned at post time.