Citing an inability for Ebony Magazine to pay off its debts, Law360 reports that the embattled company’s lenders have submitted a filing in Texas federal court to force the once proud-publication into Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Per Law360, a pair of involuntary bankruptcy petitions were filed on Wednesday by investment management company Parkview Capital Credit Inc., photo studio Plum Studio and law firm David M. Abner & Associates. In the filings, Ebony Media Holdings LLC is accused of “generally not paying its debts as they become due, unless they are the subject of a bona fide dispute as to liability or amount.”
As far as Ebony’s unsettled debts, Parkview alleges that it’s owed $11.9 million, while David M. Abner & Associates claims it is owed $9,400. Plum Studio is allegedly owed $2,300.
In a statement provided to The Root, Parkview notes that the filing “was an attempt to re-position the company’s iconic assets, including the Ebony and Jet brands, for long-term success.”
“Ebony has been the voice of the Black community for 75 years and we look forward to positioning the company’s assets to serve the Black community for another 75 years,” Brad Southern, president and chief investment officer for Parkview, said.
In 2016, private equity firm Clear View Group, co-founded by Willard Jackson and Michael Gibson, acquired both Ebony and Jet Magazine from Johnson Media Group. This acquisition was financed by Parkview through a series of loans prior to Blueprint Capital Advisors taking over as managers of Parkview in 2019.
Wednesday’s involuntary bankruptcy filing is a result of Ebony defaulting on those loans and comes weeks after Ebony’s former CEO, Willard Jackson, was removed from his position amid an investigation into questionable financial transactions that occurred under his leadership. In May, Blueprint’s co-founder, Jacob Walthour Jr., was elected chairman of Ebony’s board of directors.
Should the publication survive this latest blow, Ebony will celebrate its 75th anniversary in November.