Today in AMS: Bankruptcy Court asked to stop publisher claims


By Carmen Comment

So reads the headline on Peg Brickley‘s report for Forbes (picked up by the newswires late yesterday) as Advanced Marketing Services asked a Delware bankruptcy court on Monday to put the brakes on moves by publishers to reclaim millions of dollars in unsold inventory. The company filed a promised motion seeking court permission to set up procedures to sell itself or refinance its senior debt, a counterattack to most of AMS’s major creditors – ranging from Random House, Simon & Schuster and those under Publishers Group West‘s distribution umbrella – invoking so-called “reclamation rights”, or special protections for some suppliers in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Though AMS has filed the motion to stem off possible lawsuit threats by publishers determined to reclaim their goods, it’s telling that no specific reclamation deal is described, no buyer or investor is named in AMS’s motion, and no date has been set for a hearing on the transaction procedures. If this is AMS’s opening gambit, then the next move belongs to rightfully aggrieved publishers – but one suspects that very move is forthcoming in a matter of days.