Baci Takes Bankruptcy Stage

Baci Management, a partner with troubled Worldwide Entertainment in Baci Worldwide, filed for liquidation under federal Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings in a Baltimore district court March 19th.

The Towson, Md.-based company staged Broadway-style touring productions and its affiliate, Performing Arts Productions, recently canceled a subscription series at Baltimore’s Lyric Opera House and other theatres, leaving hundreds of ticketholders in the lurch. Baci and Performing Arts Productions simultaneously filed bankruptcy petitions.

Baci Management declared assets of $289,643 and liabilities of more than $4.9 million, according to U.S. Bankruptcy Court documents. Unsecured creditor claims account for almost $4.6 million of those liabilities and, in its filing, Baci stated it expected no funds to be available to reimburse those claims after exempt property and administrative expenses are paid.

More than 200 creditors, mostly radio stations and other advertising media, have filed claims against Baci. Among them is Michael I. Goldberg, the court-appointed receiver for promoter Jack Utsick’s Worldwide Entertainment, who has filed a claim for $10,000; and Detroit’s Fox Theatre for $117,000.

Baci Management President Nicholas Litrenta lists a claim for $595,487 in "miscellaneous monetary contributions" to the corporation. Calls to Baci Management are answered by a recording stating "at the customer’s request" the phone number has been temporarily disconnected.

The company’s only real asset is a $270,332 set and props for "Beauty and the Beast." George Liebmann, the bankruptcy trustee, told the Washington Post, "I don’t think there’s a lot of value there."

The trustee added there might be more value in so-called preference claims – recovering money that Baci paid to debtors within 90 days of its bankruptcy filing or to insiders within the past year. These funds would be used to reimburse "consumer-deposit claimants," the legal name for ticketholders who lost their money, according to the Post.

Liebmann said he wants to give priority to the jilted subscribers and is seeking lists of spurned ticket buyers so he can establish a reimbursement schedule, the paper said.

"It’s utterly impossible to predict how much we’ll recover and how many people are out there [eligible for reimbursement] and how many of those will take the trouble to file claims," Liebmann said.

In addition to creditor claims in the bankruptcy petition, the Maryland attorney general is reportedly mediating 77 other complaints against Baci.

Baci’s statement of financial affairs disclosed that after bringing in more than $19 million in 2005 income, the company took a nosedive in 2006 with $6.15 million. Despite having scheduled shows in 2007 – now canceled – Baci declares no income for the year.