AVP, Inc. and AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour, Inc. voluntarily filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Los Angeles on Friday. The companies, headquartered in Torrance, California, operate the "sole nationally recognized men's and women's U.S. professional beach volleyball tour." Tour competitors include both women's and men's gold medalists from the 2008 Summer Olympics. AVP was formed in 1990 and its predominant shareholders are RJSM Partners, LLC, Cede & Co., AmTrust International Insurance Ltd., Fox Sports Net Inc., MLB Advanced Media LP, and National Broadcasting Company Inc. (which operates the NBC television network). RJSM Partners owns 72% of AVP's equity and financed most of the debtors' operations and holds a $5.4 million claim secured by all of AVP, Inc.'s assets. According to court filings, 80% of the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tour's revenue was derived from corporate sponsorships. Earlier this year, some of the Tour's "substantial" sponsors ended their sponsorship of the Tour. As a result, AVP found itself unable to finance its day-to-day operations and the last five tournaments (out of a 12-tournament season) were cancelled. The companies reported in court filings that they intend to utilize the bankruptcy cases to liquidate their assets through a sale process conducted pursuant to section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code. Court filings do no disclose whether the companies have already secured or expect to secure a stalking horse bid for their assets. They also have not yet identified an expected timeframe in which they will attempt to complete the sale process.
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