By Stephen McKinley
Belenos, the publisher of Ireland’s leading business magazine, Business and Finance, filed for bankruptcy last week — but insiders at the publication described it as less of a derailment and more of a bump on the road.
Staff were laid off last week, but the magazine will continue to publish as its finances are reordered and arrangements are made with creditors, and most editorial staff, including editor Vincent Wall, have been rehired by associate company Moranna Inc. Ten staff were laid off in January.
Belenos was acquired by former Irish Press executive Ian Hyland in December. He confirmed that the publication schedule of the magazine would not be interrupted, and that the firm’s conferences, exhibitions and electronic news services will also continue.
A Business and Finance employee who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the magazine had “about a million in euro of debts,” which is owed to the revenue authority in Dublin and the magazine’s printer.
“We are pretty confident that the magazine will come through this OK,” he continued. “Our printing company is agreeing to print us going forward. Our major creditors are agreeing to go along with the plan to pay off the debts.”
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He described how the news broke to employees: “We found out about two or three days ago. The trading company was put into voluntary liquidation by the other company which holds the titles. Most of us were rehired, and there is a creditors meeting for March 13,” he said.
Asked how the magazine, founded in 1964, arrived in this situation, the employee suggested that there were “management issues,” and problems with the publication’s efficiency.
“Decisions to do with that were not taken as quickly as they should have been,” the employee said. The faltering media business in Ireland as a result of the economic slowdown, did not help either, he added, stating that advertising revenues were much lower than a year ago.
The magazine now has a staff of 25.