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DATE News (chronologically)
04/28/09
automotive
Publisher of Motor Trend, Hot Rod, Automobile Files for Bankruptcy  Source Interlink Cos., the publisher of Motor Trend, Hot Rod and Street Chopper magazines controlled by billionaire Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos., sought bankruptcy protection as it moves to become a private company.

The company, which also distributes newspapers and other publications, listed debt of $1.9 billion and assets of $2.4 billion as of April 24 in Chapter 11 documents filed yesterday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.

Source Interlink publishes 75 magazines, mostly about cars and motorcycles, putting it at the nexus of two struggling industries. Iconic Motor Trend is in bankruptcy as Chrysler LLC and General Motors Corp. face a similar fate this week and next month.

“This restructuring will materially reduce our interest expense and debt levels,” Source Interlink Chief Executive Officer Greg Mays said today in a statement. The Bonita Springs, Florida-based company also runs Web sites and distributes CDs, video games and DVDs in the U.S.

U.S. magazine advertising revenue in the first quarter fell 20 percent from a year earlier, according to the Publisher’s Information Bureau, an industry group. U.S. auto sales tumbled 37 percent in March. Source Interlink hasn’t reported a profit since the second quarter of 2007.

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