Bankruptcy Judge Schedules AEE Parent’s Bidding Plan

NEWTON, Mass. — A federal bankruptcy judge on Monday scheduled the auction of substantially all the assets of the parent company of Adult Entertainment Expo.

Questex Media filed for bankruptcy earlier this month 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.

U.S. Judge Mary Walrath scheduled the auction on Nov. 20 and a sale hearing on Nov 24.

Questex filed a motion earlier this month saying it had received a bid of $120 million from QMG Acquisition LLC — its senior lenders — and sought the sale of all its assets through a court-supervised 363 sale.

With a 363 sale, assets are conveyed to the purchaser free and clear of any liens. Those liens will then be attached to the net proceeds of the sale and paid as ordered by the bankruptcy court.

Walrath, in her motion to approve the bulk sale auction, ordered the company to publish bidding procedure notices in the Wall Street Journal no later than Friday.

AEE spokesman Sean Devlin told XBIZ that the 2010 show is in full-production mode and that Questex’s Chapter 11 filing “will have no impact on the daily operations of the company at the operating level, and thus no impact at all on AEE.”

“Rather than having any adverse impact on future expos, this will only serve to strengthen the event’s position in the marketplace.”

Questex publishes 23 print magazines and sponsors 28 conferences. It also has more than 150 trade websites.