Business

Penthouse publisher FriendFinder files for bankruptcy protection

Economy, Business and FinanceBankruptcyFinancially Distressed CompaniesEntertainmentBoca Raton

The company that owns Penthouse magazine and a host of online dating and adult websites filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday.

FriendFinder Networks Inc.'s move comes as many in the adult entertainment industry struggle because of an increase in free online options.

The Boca Raton, Fla., company said bankruptcy was "the most efficient and cost effective way for the company … to continue to operate our business."

In addition to Penthouse, FriendFinder runs adult websites and online dating sites such as Friendfinder.com, Seniorfriendfinder.com and Bigchurch.com.

FriendFinder was originally Penthouse Media Group but changed its name after it acquired Various Inc. in 2007. FriendFinder went public in 2011.

Chief Executive Anthony Previte said the agreement with the majority of its note holders would enable the company to refinance its long-term debt, reducing interest expense and positioning its strongest brands for growth.

The company's shares will no longer trade on the open market once the agreement becomes effective. The stock was delisted from the Nasdaq exchange last month because shares fell below $1, though they do trade on a smaller market.

stuart.pfeifer@latimes.com

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