50 Below Parent Company Closes on Purchase, Rehires 133 People

By KBJR News 1

November 28, 2012 Updated Nov 29, 2012 at 12:14 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - We're getting a better idea of what's going to happen to the employees in the middle of bankruptcy battle involving Duluth web-based marketing company 50 Below.

Two winning bids were finalized by a Bankruptcy judge back on November 7th.

Milwaukee-based ARI Network Services purchased the retail division of 50 Below, while San Diego-based Emerald Connect picked up the financial-services division after 50 Below filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy.

The judge gave both companies the green light because both promised to keep jobs in Duluth.

The Chief Marketing Officer of ARI Network Services, Jon Lintvet, says his company closed on the $5 million deal Wednesday.

Lintvet says his company has rehired most of 50 Below's employees in the retail division, about 130 of them. However, several resigned or did not receive job offers and were terminated.

"We aligned our customer's needs and skill sets with the team on the ground with the roles that we need to be filled," Lintvet told KBJR 6 & Range 11 News Anchor Kevin Jacobsen on the phone. "We were really excited to be able to extend over 130 job offers to folks who are familiar and passionate about the business."

Emerald Connect told the Duluth News Tribune, it plans to keep most of the division's 65 employees, and will move to a new downtown location by the first of the year.

Documents filed with U-S Bankruptcy Court in August showed 50 Below had more than $12 million in unsecured claims, nearly $8.8 million of which is owed to the IRS.

ARI officials say they are actively shopping for a new downtown location and hope to make a move by next summer.

Kevin Jacobsen
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