US edition of Maxim may end up in the hands of creditors

NEW YORK - The owner of the US version of Maxim magazine, Alpha Media, could be put in to administration as it struggles with huge debt and falling ad revenues.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Alpha Media is in restructuring talks that are expected to end up with the company being turned over to its creditors. It says that the "negotiations are fluid and could still fall apart".

Alpha Media acquired Maxim from Dennis Publishing in 2007, in a $250m deal that also gave it ownership of the music magazine Blender and gadget title Stuff, which is owned by Haymarket Media in the UK.

Dennis has used the funds generated by the sale to fuel its expansion in to India.

Alpha Media, which is part of Quadrangle Capital Partners, has had to face up to falling magazine advertising rates, as well as contending with debt of over $100m.

Quadrangle said earlier in the autumn that it was winding down the hedge fund it runs that invests in media businesses.

It is not only falling ad rates that have caused difficulties for the magazine. The man brought in to run the titles, Kent Brownridge, a former vice-president of Rolling Stone publisher Wenner Media, fired many of the staff who worked on Maxim and closed Stuff amid speculation that by becoming involved in running a music magazine he was attempting to take on his old boss at Rolling Stone, Jann Wenner.

Brownridge has since left the company and been hired by Richard Desmond to help make the US edition of OK! magazine profitable.

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