Impower Owes Top Creditors $5 Million

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With about $5 million owed to its 20 largest unsecured creditors, Impower's largest creditor hopes it can stay afloat.

"It seems that they have a desire to stay in business, and we hope that they do," said Scott Levine, general manager at Sniper Mail, Boca Raton, FL. "It would mean more for us."

Sniper Mail had been working with Impower for about a year -- doing e-mail blasts for its clients' campaigns. According to Levine, Impower paid its bills on a timely basis for a while. Sniper Mail would even do business with Impower again, he added.

Topping the list of unsecured creditors with more than $928,000, Sniper Mail is followed by Dow Jones & Co., New York, owed more than $514,000; and American List Counsel Inc., Princeton, owed more than $426,000. ALC founder/chairman Donn Rappaport continues to act as chairman/CEO of Impower.

Blaming the economic downturn, Internet marketing firm Impower, which was spun off from American List Counsel in 1999, filed for Chapter 11 protection Aug. 3. The filing will allow Impower, Princeton, NJ, to operate in the normal fashion under court protection while the company restructures and talks to major creditors. The filing was with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey. Staffing is down to 30 people from a high of 100 just a few months ago.

"We exhausted all attempts to raise additional capital or potentially sell Impower to another firm," said Impower president/COO Greg Ellis. "As part of that decision process, we came to the conclusion that: one, the only way that we could secure additional investment capital was as debtor-in-possession financing under a Chapter 11 filing; and that, two, we came to the conclusion that a Chapter 11 filing was in the best interest of all of our creditors."

Repeated calls to ALC were not returned.

While Ellis said it would be unrealistic for unsecured creditors to expect full payment, filing Chapter 11 offered the best chance to provide some payment. Impower's other top unsecured creditors include:

Acxiom, $180,000

Americomp Inforsystems Inc., $145,000

Arenson Office Furnishings, $297,000

CDI Corp., $114,000

Commercial Floors Beautiful, $223,000

Direct Media Inc., $121,000

DoubleClick, $131,000, $223,000

Heller Financial Leasing Inc., $173,000

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, $147,000

King Construction Co., $460,000

Marketing Direct Associates, $124,000

MatchLogic, $184,000

NetCreations, $125,000

Responsys Inc., $121,000

Sandbox Opt-in E-mail, $148,000

Total Edata, $113,000

Of the above, Acxiom, DoubleClick and Marketing Direct Associates said they had not seen the court documents as of yet.

Although Levine made a point of saying that many companies are experiencing hard times right now, he said his firm will do a better job of getting money up front.

"We're a vendor, so we're at a disadvantage," he said. "We don't know the inner workings other than they asked us to do something for them and we did it."


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