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Rival buys assets of defunct Axium

Times Staff Writer

Less than a month after Axium International Inc. collapsed, the Hollywood payroll services company’s remaining assets were sold at auction Thursday for $7.05 million to Entertainment Partners, one of its former competitors.

The three-hour proceeding in U.S. Bankruptcy Court opened with a $2.5-million offer from a group led by former Axium President Ruben Rodriguez.

But in the end, Burbank-based Entertainment Partners offered the highest price.

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“Our No. 1 goal is to keep [Axium’s] clients going,” said Markham L. Goldstein, president and chief executive of Entertainment Partners. “There’s a lot of anxious people out there.”

Axium, one of three major Hollywood payroll companies, ceased operations Jan. 7, shuttering its offices in Los Angeles, Burbank, New York, London, Toronto and Vancouver, Canada. It filed for liquidation bankruptcy the next day.

About 500 Axium employees lost their jobs and thousands of other workers were left holding worthless paychecks the company had processed for entertainment-industry clients.

“I’m very pleased that there was in fact spirited bidding,” said Howard Ehrenberg, the court-appointed bankruptcy trustee. “This will result in a significant benefit to the creditors of this bankruptcy estate.”

The sale came a week after a Florida company, MPS Group Inc., won the rights to Axium’s staffing subsidiary, Ensemble Chimes Global, for slightly more than $8 million.

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andrea.chang@latimes.com

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Times staff writer Kim Christensen contributed to this report.


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