PORTLAND – A federal judge is giving BroadcastAmerica.com until next week to agree to a sale to an Alabama company or face possible liquidation.
The company hopes to have a “firm offer” from Bowman Investments by Tuesday and a binding sales agreement by Thursday, Roger A. Clement Jr., the lawyer representing the Internet broadcaster, told U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge James B. Haines Jr.
The court would be asked to approve the deal Jan. 19 if the sale goes through. Others interested in buying BroadcastAmerica could try to top Bowman’s offer at the hearing.
Clement would not disclose the price that the parties have been discussing.
BroadcastAmerica still would be based in Portland if it is bought by Bowman Investments, a subsidiary of Bowman Transportation, Clement said.
The hearing Wednesday was held to discuss whether BroadcastAmerica’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case should be converted to a Chapter 7 case.
In a Chapter 7 case, the debtor company usually is liquidated to pay off creditors. Chapter 11 offers a company protection from creditors while it reorganizes.
A BroadcastAmerica partner, BA Funding, wants to foreclose on the company. BA Funding also filed a motion to convert the case to a Chapter 7 case. BroadcastAmerica opposes the conversion.
Haines postponed ruling on the BA Funding motions until it becomes clear whether BroadcastAmerica will be sold.
BA Funding was set up by SurferNETWORK, which last month entered an agreement intended to supply BroadcastAmerica with $1 million and SurferNETWORK with a 10-percent stake in the company.
BA Funding said the partnership soured with concerns about BroadcastAmerica’s financial viability. BA Funding already has forwarded $847,000 to BroadcastAmerica.
BroadcastAmerica billed itself as the world’s largest Internet broadcaster, airing 750 radio and 70 television stations over the Web.
Started in 1998, BroadcastAmerica filed for bankruptcy in November, saying it had more than $4 million in debts. Earlier this month, the company ran out of money to pay employees, and a judge gave two vendors permission to cut off service to the company.
The company is generating no income and is spending about $1,700 per day on operations, Clement said.