Porn title seeks bankruptcy protection

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The title was launched in London almost 40 years ago, as a more hardcore alternative to Playboy, and at its height boasted a monthly circulation of 4.7 million issues. In December 2002, this had fallen to just over 530,000.

Signs that the company could be in trouble became apparent when its auditor, Grant Thornton, quit in April over doubts about General Media’s ability to operate as a going concern.

General Media had been crippled by debts of more than $51m (£35.5m), and was struggling to meet interest payments of nearly $13m required for 2003 alone.

In the filing, General Media said it had between $50m and $100m in both assets and debts, but gave few other details. However, it will continue publishing the magazine.

It is hoping to use Chapter 11 to restructure its operations, while fending off creditors’ demands.

General Media is a subsidiary of Penthouse International, which has not filed for bankruptcy.

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