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Axium assets sold

February 01 2008

The assets of Axium International Inc. were sold at a bankruptcy auction Thursday to Entertainment Partners for $7.05 million, bankruptcy trustee Howard Ehrenberg said. Axium, which filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy on Jan. 8, at one time owned Ensemble Chimes Global and was one of the top payroll services for the entertainment industry in Hollywood.

ECG filed for bankruptcy along with Axium. Its assets were sold in bankruptcy court on Jan. 23 to MPS Group Inc. (NYSE: MPS) for almost $8.1 million.

Ehrenberg said a letter will be going out today to former Chimes customers explaining that the court has approved the ECG sale as well as the process for turning over payments to vendors. Unpaid invoices for December and January can be paid through the ECG process and that money is safe from the liens of the lender in the case, Ehrenberg said.

The monies don't involve the funds already in the system when Axium's lender swept its bank account of $22.5 million on Jan. 4. Ehrenberg said there was $42 million owed to staffing firms at that time.

This is just the beginning of the bankruptcy case which will likely take a couple of years to complete, including an analysis whether any wrongdoing took place and what monies can be recovered, Ehrenberg said. "It's not the case that all is lost for the $42 million although it will take time and effort to recover," he said.

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