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Crime site moves onto auction block

In a last-ditch effort to recoup losses after a sale to SafetyTips.com fell through, APB Online says that it plans to auction its company assets in bankruptcy court next week.

In a last-ditch effort to recoup losses after a sale to SafetyTips.com fell through yesterday, APB Online said that it plans to auction its company assets in bankruptcy court next week.

APB, which operates crime news Web site APBnews.com, said today that it will ask a minimum bid of $950,000 for its assets in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Earlier this week, New York-based APBnews.com said that it agreed to sell its assets to SafetyTips.com for $950,000. But the sale crumbled yesterday when the buyer decided to back out.

"While we are disappointed in SafetyTip.com's actions, we intend to continue publishing our award-winning content while seeking to maximize returns to creditors," APB chief executive Marshall V. Davidson said in a statement.

Since April, content companies such as APB and Salon.com have fallen out of favor with investors much like many other Internet companies, despite their highly praised content.

In early July, APB sought protection under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy laws, claiming $8 million in debt after running through $27 million in cash from investors. APB had fired most of its staff, about 140 employees, the previous month.

SafetyTips.com, which provides safety consulting and training online, told APB yesterday that it would not pay for "a debtor-in-possession borrowing agreement" specified in the terms of agreement made last week. At a hearing before the court today, SafetyTips.com representatives said the company still had an interest in buying the assets, according to a statement.

If the assets fail to fetch the minimum bid, the court will auction portions of the 2-year-old company's assets in lots. Proceeds from the sale will go to the company's creditors.