NATPE Names Brunico Top Bidder For Bankrupt Trade Group’s Assets

Jonathan Capehart to speak at NATPE Virtual
(Image credit: NATPE)

The National Association of Television Programming Executives, which is filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October after canceled events left it unable to pay creditors, said that several parties expressed interest in the trade group’s assets, headed by Toronto-based Brunico Communications.

Brunico, a publisher that produces events including the Realscreen Summit and the Banff World Media Festival, offered to pay $150,000 for NATPE’s assets and to assume the group’s liabilities, according to papers filed with the court.

In a declaration to the court, former NATPE CEO JP Bommel, now the group’s interim CEO, said that since filing for bankruptcy, NATPE has been in contact with “numerous parties identified as being interested in purchasing the assets.”  

After communicating with those parties, NATPE evaluated four bids, Bommel said. At the end of this process, Bommel said, "Brunico was determined to be  the best offer.”

Others identified as interested purchasers in the filing were C21 International, which publicly expressed interest earlier; the National Association of Broadcasters; DISCOP; RX France; PMC; Questex and Lakewood Advisors, whose managing partner is Ed Grebow.

NATPE is asking the court to approve rules for auctioning off the groups’ assets. The auction would start with Brunico’s offer being the “stalking horse.” 

In order to overbid Brunico, another buyer would have to start at $190,000 and be able to increase that offer in increments of $10,000.

Brunico would get $29,000 as a breakup fee if it were not the winning bidder.

A hearing is scheduled for December 14. If the terms of the auction are approved, the auction will take place that day.

If approved, a sale could be completed by December.23.

In its bankruptcy filing, NAPTE said it has total assets of $949,000 as of September 30, 2022, the end of the first half of its fiscal 2023. At the end of fiscal 2022, the organization had assets of $2.6 million. The NATPE filing said that it ran at a $1.33 million deficit in the first six months of its fiscal year.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.