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BNA Subsidiaries, LLC - Publisher of Materials for Business & Goverment Professionals - Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

 Earlier today, BNA Subsidiaries, LLC voluntarily filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware. BNA Subsidiaries is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (also known as BNA), which was not included in the chapter 11 filing. The Bureau of National Affairs describes itself as "the largest independent publisher of information and analysis products for professionals in business and government."

BNA Subsidiaries, LLC was formed on January 1, 2009 through the merger of Kennedy Information, Inc., which was acquired by BNA in 2000, and the Institute of Management and Administration, Inc. (or IOMA), which was acquired in 1997. According to BNA's website, the two entities' business lines are:

  • IOMA: "IOMA was established in 1983 with a single newsletter - Law Office Management and Administration Report. Today, IOMA publishes a vast range of newsletters that provide practical information for lawyers, accountants, HR professionals, and others. A highly profitable company with a long track record of success and impressive growth, IOMA has had the opportunity since 1997 to further develop its newsletter business as a BNA-owned subsidiary company, while providing a solid platform for leveraging BNA's editorial product into market segments the parent company did not traditionally reach. IOMA is based in New York City."
  • Kennedy Information: "Since 1970, Kennedy has been the leading information source for professionals in management consulting, executive recruiting and investor relations. In addition to eight timely newsletters, three magazines and a variety of in-depth research reports, the firm hosts leading websites, produces conferences, and provides advisory services in its specialty areas. The company has over 70 full-time staff members, and has bureaus in London and Los Angeles and offices in New York and New Hampshire."
According to court filings, BNA Subsidiaries generated a 2009 net operating loss of $1.8 million on revenue of $23.2 million.  Despite operational restructurings including workforce reductions and divestitures, the debtor "continues to experience financial losses and continues to incur expenses that are beyond its ability to self fund and that negatively affect its financial performance."  The company states that BNA (the parent company) had historically funded its operating losses but recently advised the subsidiary that it "would no longer provide unsecured funding and/or equity infusions in light of, among other things, market weakness for the Debtor's products and product lines."  The company's financial difficulties are further exacerbated by at least two material lawsuits that are pending.  First, the company is facing a class action lawsuit asserting $15 million in claims arising from alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.  Second, the company has also been sued by former independent contractors asserting damages from "wrongful denial of benefits and alleged improper payment of Subsidiaries' share of taxes for FICA and Medicare."

Court filings state that BNA Subsidiaries intends to file a proposed plan of reorganization "within the first few weeks" of the bankruptcy case and hopes to emerge from chapter 11 protection in "early 2011."

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