Judge Rules on Winning Bids in 50 Below Bankruptcy Case

By KBJR News 1

Judge Rules on Winning Bids in 50 Below Bankruptcy Case

November 7, 2012 Updated Nov 8, 2012 at 12:02 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Following a six hour court hearing Wednesday, a judge gave the green light to two companies to buy the assets of the Duluth web and marketing company 50 Below.

According to court records, San Diego-based marketing company Emerald Connect bid $3.5 million on the financial division of the company.

Milwaukee-based commerce and marketing company ARI Network Service bid $5 million on the retail division.

Roy W. Olivier, President and CEO of ARI Network, talked to the Northland's NewsCenter on the phone Wednesday night following the six hour hearing.

Olivier says he is meeting with 50 Below management and employees Thursday morning to discuss potential future plans. He says he plans to invest in the Duluth office and have it be the center of his company's automotive and sports division.

Olivier says he plans on closing in two weeks from Friday.

The six hour hearing was at times hotly contested, according to Olivier.

A third company, Dominion Enterprises from the state of Virginia serves as a backup bidder. According to court records, the company filed an objection with the court saying the sale process was flawed and they should have been selected as the highest bidder as opposed to ARI Network Service. Dominion Enterprises bid $5.15 million.

Documents filed with U-S Bankruptcy Court show 50 Below has more than $12 million in unsecured claims, nearly $8.8 million of which is owed to the IRS. Another one million dollars is owed to the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

According to a September statement from 50 Below, the company posted record revenues and profits for the first half of 2012.

Meanwhile, a capital management company has been approved to help keep 50 below running through the end of December.

50 Below currently employs about 250 people.

Kevin Jacobsen
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