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SafetyTips acquires APB Online in second try

The Web site purchases the assets of APB Online for $575,000, two weeks after withdrawing a higher offer for the beleaguered operator of crime news site APBnews.com.

SafetyTips.com purchased the assets of APB Online for $575,000 today, two weeks after withdrawing a higher offer for the beleaguered operator of crime news site APBnews.com.

SafetyTips, which plans to revive New York-based APB, bought the company's URLs and its Web site, said SafetyTips spokeswoman Nancy Daniel. The buyer will not be responsible for APB's outstanding debts, nor did it acquire the company's leases or computers.

"We're happy with the purchase," Daniel said. "We're going to keep it as close to what it is right now."

The sale, which has not officially closed, was part of a second round of an auction begun last week, said APB spokesman Joe Krakoviak. Already approved by APB's creditors, the sale should close tomorrow, Krakoviak said.

"It's bittersweet," he added. "It's the end of a long, difficult process. We wish we had gotten more for our creditors."

SafetyTips is paying far less than it originally had planned to spend for APB. Late last month, the Waltham, Mass.-based company, which offers safety information from its Web site, tentatively agreed to pay $950,000 for APB. That deal fell through when APB's creditors demanded more money from SafetyTips.

APB filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July, hoping to reorganize and resuscitate its business despite $7 million in debt. The company ran out of money in June and fired 140 employees.

A company typically files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection when it intends to continue operations but needs time to reorganize its business before paying creditors. But APB was unable to secure financing to help it continue operations while in bankruptcy, so it was forced to sell its assets.

"There's not going to be a reorganization," Krakoviak said.