Buyers are being sought for UniLad – one of Facebook’s biggest names – after it went into administration.
The website’s parent company Bentley Harrison is said to have debts of more than £6m, although some reports put the figure at closer to £10m.
The Manchester-based business has 39 million likes on Facebook and was named by NewsWhip as the fourth biggest publisher on the social media giant in August. It publishes viral content and it’s widely shared posts are aimed primarily at students.
The platform reportedly owes its ousted founder, Alex Partridge, £5m. According to The Drum, Lad Bible has bought Partridge’s debt and is now the site’s largest creditor.
Lad Bible is another Manchester-based publisher with around 33 million followers and is arguably UniLad’s biggest rival.
Partridge launched UniLad in 2010 when he was a student at Oxford Brookes University. He argued last year that he was “cut out” of the business after giving Liam Harrington and Sam Bentley, the current owners, a 66% stake in the company.
It has previously been reported at the time by Business Insider that the legal battle, which Patridge won, could “force the sale of the site.”
As a result of the company’s woes around 200 jobs are at risk but administrators at the accountancy firm Leonard Curtis are looking for a buyer.
Joint administators Andrew Poxon and Andrew Duncan said in a statement: “The business has substantial social media presence – including 60 million followers, one billion weekly reach, and four billion monthly video views across nine channels.
“The joint administrators are seeking offers for the business in order to preserve jobs and maximise the return to creditors.”